This I Believe

Roberto - Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Entered on January 31, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humanism

The Human Condition

I believe in humanity. I believe in the human spirit, which is sometimes derogatorily called the human “condition”. These days we are so quick to reject our humanity. We are taught to be objective, factual, and scientific. In this society of test scores, numbers, and the bottom line where can our passion exist? Anger, depression, even silliness are looked down on while a person who has the emotional capacity of a frog yet can get a perfect score on a test is idolized for their perfection. We are told to be like someone else, and this someone else is usually a religious figure. How can we hope to be something divine when we are not? Should we even strive for it? Of course I think every person should strive to be the best person that they can be but to try and be divine? The moment that the process of emulating a religious figure compromises your humanity, that is when you truly fail at being human.

I’ve dealt with depression in my life, as have many of my peers and friends. Something that has struck me is that as soon as people hear the word depression they automatically go to a label. It is something that is shied away from. It doesn’t fit in with the normal standard of a good person. A good person would always be happy, hard working and almost every other way. Society on a whole tends to look more on the “positive” attributes of being human but is unable to accept the other side that comes with life. This is where alcoholism, drug abuse, and any other form of escaping reality stems from. We are unable to find solace in others since they turn away at the first sign of anything irregular and we are forced to care for ourselves.

Religion is also very harsh regarding the imperfectness of being human. The mantra of many religious organizations is that humans are infinitely flawed and cannot amount to a thing without God to sort us out. Why such a negative view of humans? A baby isn’t evil. A caring mother isn’t evil. We have the capacity to be good. In fact we have the capacity to be great. Several people in our world’s history have done extraordinary things without belief in a higher power; Hemmingway, Einstein, Darwin, Sarte, the list goes on and on.

I enjoy talking to people. In fact its one of the things I do most of the time. I appreciate being happy around people, but I also appreciate when people feel that they can be sad around me. It shows who they are as a whole, as a human being, in their most vulnerable and trusting state. That’s what humanity is. Trust in others. I believe in it.