“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.Buddha, teacher and found of Buddhism (563-483 BCE)
You are a Human. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
You might be tall, short, male, female, trans, straight, gay, bisexual, black, white, religious, atheist, rich, poor, healthy, sick, fat, thin, old or young but I’m afraid to break it to you at the end of the day you are still simply a Human at the most basic level WE all commonly understand.
WE can extend this most basic of definitions via the following, which is sometimes referred to as as the great paradox of being Human…
WE are Universally the SAME and INDIVIDUALLY unique.
Please don’t take offence that ‘I’ have not acknowledged you and your own uniqueness and thus missed a chance to boost your ego as you are still special, very very special…
The above is 1 in 400 TRILLION… for some perspective… The following is how hard it is to even try and visualise a billion…
Now using the above example of seconds, 1 trillion is equal to 32,000 years and the chances you were born are 1 in 400 trillion or 1 in 12.8 million years 😮
However like all things in life, even this incredibly large number is up for debate and seems to have come from a TEDx San Francisco by Mel Robbins, a self-help author gave. The author of this article though, thinks 1 in 400 trillion might actually be far too low based on the chances of your parents meeting, the sperm and egg being the exact ones that made you etc etc – the number is more likely to be a ten followed by 2,640,000 zeroes or basically statistically ZERO = you ARE A MIRACLE!
If you have been trying to comprehend the mind boggling chances of you even existing at this moment at all as per above then what are the chances that ‘I’, another apparent Human miracle to even be born, started writing this documentation when ‘I’ did and you are reading it now at this very moment!? Was it fate that meant you had to be reading this now, do you believe in synchronicity or maybe serendipity?
WE are all shaped in some way by every interaction WE have with our fellow Humans. Every single thought and experience you have had and will have in the future has either been passed down from previous generations of Humans via OUR genetic code or via encounters with other Human miracles like you. This process is not a one way street though as you will have also shaped (intentionally or not) others you have interacted with in some way during your own life so far.
Can you think of just 5 of the other Human miracles that you think have significantly shaped you in some way?
The next thing ‘I’ want you to do is read the next definition for all of us Humans as a group.
“Humanity is a term which commonly refers to the human species, mankind as a whole, or sets of qualities which are used to define human nature, the human condition, or to refer to any of the academic disciplines known as the humanities which study human culture.”Wikiquote contributors, ‘Humanity‘, Wikiquote
‘I’ hope you agree that there is nothing controversial or speculative with the above definition as we are ALL still Humans within the Human Species regardless of gender, race, religion?
Great. Next up… what about the spiritual or mental part of Humanity or what is known universally as the Human Spirit?
“The human spirit is a component of human philosophy, psychology, art, and knowledge – the spiritual or mental part of humanity. While the term can be used with the same meaning as “human soul”, human spirit is sometimes used to refer to the impersonal, universal or higher component of human nature in contrast to soul or psyche which can refer to the ego or lower element. The human spirit includes our intellect, emotions, fears, passions, and creativity.”Wikipedia contributors, ‘Human Spirit spirit’, Wikipedia
Again the above definition of the Human Spirit is not controversial as WE all have emotions and fears don’t we? Ok so moving on…
Those of you who took it upon yourself to follow the Human Spirit link above before (well done!), should have hopefully seen OUR next definition mentioned already, as this was mentioned within the Humanity definition above…
“The human condition is “the characteristics, key events, and situations which compose the essentials of human existence, such as birth, growth, emotionality, aspiration, conflict, and mortality”. This is a very broad topic which has been and continues to be pondered and analyzed from many perspectives, including those of religion, philosophy, history, art, literature, anthropology, psychology, and biology. As a literary term, “the human condition” is typically used in the context of ambiguous subjects such as the meaning of life or moral concerns.”Wikipedia contributors, ‘Human condition‘, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
So at this point, WE now also have a universally accepted definition of the key things that occur in OUR existence as Humans but ‘I’ don’t want to get bogged down in the literary definition mentioned above so early on do you? Good so let’s keep going…
However before we probe a bit further into our next Human related definition, please take another look back at those previous definitions WE have already read and thought about:
- Human Spirit
- Human Condition
Also please make a conscious attempt to realise the definitions above were all hidden in plain sight on one of the best examples of the Human Spirit I think we have in the modern World – Wikipedia.
You have access at any time of the day to Wikipedia within your mobile (cell) phones. you could have researched any one of the definitions above yourself at anytime and pretty much from anywhere on our planet.
However, ‘I’ totally understand that it is counter intuitive to most people to seemingly go backwards and question or remind themselves of such basic universal definitions when looking into a subject, especially those so fundamental as those above that WE have taken for granted concerning what WE as Humans are!
The reason most people find this back to basics methodology so hard is that the process of life itself, each and every year WE are alive within a society, subtly changes US not via anther process known as social conditioning. This process is constantly shaping OUR identities and views as a payoff for the relative security of living within a stable society. Throughout Human history, each place WE Humans have chosen to live on Earth requires each of us to balance the rules and standards expected of us there against the safety and opportunities that place provides us.
My main point here is that all ‘I’ have done so far in this chapter is really simply break a larger question down of Who are you into it’s most basic parts and then pasted what you could have read direct, for FREE on the internet into this chapter.
Hopefully, the above also illustrates another point ‘I’ want to reinforce for you early on in our time together – the internet already has pretty much every answer, or at least a basic definition from our fellow Humans relating to most of the questions or problems other Humans have already had or been through before. This is possible because OUR Human experiences such as psychological pain are UNIVERSAL.
An original thought, problem of even word is a rare thing today as you can see if you type pretty much anything into your favourite search engine and usually get thousands of answers and thoughts from OUR fellow Humans back almost instantly.
Before ‘I’ go deeper into OUR collective Humanity, please let me take a few moments to share with you some more details regarding Wikipedia whilst we are here chatting about the internet…
“Wikipedia is a live collaboration differing from paper-based reference sources in important ways. Unlike printed encyclopedias, Wikipedia is continually created and updated, with articles on historic events appearing within minutes, rather than months or years. Because everybody can help improve it, Wikipedia has become more comprehensive than any other encyclopedia.”Wikipedia About
At the time of writing this text, Wikipedia has “about 72,000 active contributors working on more than 48,000,000 articles in 302 languages. As of today, there are 5,740,714 articles in English.“
Please take some time to think about how the collective Human Spirit has grown Wikipedia since it’s release to the Word in 2001 by two people to now have over 48 MILLION articles!
This incredible resource has not only allowed Humans from anywhere in the World to have access to the latest and most up to date Encyclopedia Humans have ever had but also allows people like you to be able to contribute to it!
For those of you young enough to have never known life without Wikipedia or those that have simply forgotten life before Wikipedia then let ME briefly take you back to the days before it…
When ‘I’ was personally growing up, only the wealthiest families could afford books called Encyclopedias at home. Everyone else had to go to public libraries to get the same access to these wonderful educational resources.
However, as technology progressed a program called Encarta was released for the Personal Computer (PC) and those with more modest family incomes could now afford to have a full set of Encyclopedias at home. Again not everyone could afford the PCs to run the Encarta software so the playing field for education was still vastly tilted in the favour of those who could afford both the PC and software.
As technology has progressed though, more and more barriers to self education and self development have fallen which ‘I’ discuss later but the two most important things ‘I’ suggest you take away from the above are
- The Human Spirit is an amazing thing when harnessed for good by people like you
- It was just two normal Humans like you that started the revolutionary Wikipedia project a mere 17 years ago!
Back to our Human definitions…
Obviously the above were still VERY broad definitions of us Humans and as Wikipedia itself states should not be confused with our next definition…
“Human nature is a bundle of fundamental characteristics—including ways of thinking, feeling, and acting—which humans tend to have naturally. The questions of whether there truly are fixed characteristics, what these natural characteristics are, and what causes them are among the oldest and most important questions in philosophy and science. The science that examines human nature is known as psychology and more recently also neuroscience. The concept of human nature is traditionally contrasted not only with unusual human characteristics, but also with characteristics which are derived from specific cultures, and upbringings. The “nature versus nurture” debate is a well-known modern discussion about human nature in the natural science.These questions have particularly important implications in economics, ethics, politics, and theology. This is partly because human nature can be regarded as both a source of norms of conduct or ways of life, as well as presenting obstacles or constraints on living a good life. The complex implications of such questions are also dealt with in art and literature, the question of what it is to be human.”Wikipedia contributors, ‘Human nature‘, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
Ok so now things have started to get interesting. There seems to be a lot of debate about what is and what is not able to be defined by our latest Human related definition and the age old question what is is to be Human.
However, for sake of argument and getting stuck at this early stage of this documentation ‘I’ ask that you accept the general premise that there are a universal set of shared characteristics across all Humans. Deal? If so then let’s carry on…
“Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism and empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition. The meaning of the term humanism has fluctuated according to the successive intellectual movements which have identified with it. The term was coined by theologian Friedrich Niethammer at the beginning of the 19th century to refer to a system of education based on the study of classical literature (“classical humanism”). Generally, however, humanism refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of human freedom and progress. It views humans as solely responsible for the promotion and development of individuals and emphasizes a concern for man in relation to the world.“Wikipedia contributors, ‘Humanism‘, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
Now again there is some potential to be sidetracked by the “dogma” and “superstition” bits (as ever feel free to click the Wiki links to read more about those if you want) but surely we can agree that some form of “human freedom and progress” is a good thing?
If so and you are still reading this then you have now made it all the way through the following common Human related definitions without any major controversies…
- Human Spirit
- Human Condition
- Human Nature
“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character“Martin Luther King Jr.
Human rights are moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behaviour and are regularly protected as natural and legal rights in municipal and international law. They are commonly understood as inalienable, fundamental rights “to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being” and which are “inherent in all human beings”, regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, ethnic origin or any other status.They are applicable everywhere and at every time in the sense of being universal, and they are egalitarian in the sense of being the same for everyone. They are regarded as requiring empathy and the rule of law and imposing an obligation on persons to respect the human rights of others, and it is generally considered that they should not be taken away except as a result of due process based on specific circumstances; for example, human rights may include freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture and execution.Wikipedia contributors, ‘Human rights‘, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
The above is yet again the definition that Humans collectively decided upon at the time of writing using Wikipedia to detail this.
However, in addition to the above definition, there is also, as helpfully linked to from the above Wikipedia page the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which ‘I’ suggest you spend some further time looking into personally via the following web page: http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights
On the above UN web page you can read (and download a PDF) outlining 30 articles that WE as Humans agreed upon in 1948 and has been translated into over 500 languages. For example…
Article 1.Universal Declaration of Human Rights
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Please spend some time carefully reading and considering each of the 30 articles in turn that WE as Humans agreed upon some 70 years ago
Given the above, no matter which of the articles you have personally grown up knowing you now know those your fellow Humans think you should respect when with family, friends or strangers regardless of your upbringing, religion or societal pressures.
You alone are 100% responsible for your external actions with regards to how many of the above articles you apply in your everyday life with others
Again, to revisit our initial definition at the start of this chapter, I want to expand this…
You might personally be tall, short, male, female, trans, straight, gay, bisexual, black, white, religious, atheist, rich, poor, healthy, sick, fat, thin, old or young but you are still simply a Human at the most basic level and as such you should treat other Humans with the same respect WE as Humans expect in terms of our universally accepted articles of Human Rights.
If you can personally do the above in your everyday life, and remember you are the only one who can 100% control this then you will, 100% guaranteed start to enable the change WE as fellow Humans ALL need and feel we want today 🙏
As Humans, living within Society, we have ALL at some point had prejudices that have intentionally or unintentionally made their way towards other fellow Humans. However it is important to remember that as Humans we are NOT born with prejudices!
“Prejudice, or bigotry, is an affective feeling towards a person or group member based solely on that person’s group membership. The word is often used to refer to preconceived, usually unfavorable, feelings towards people or a person because of their sex, gender, beliefs, values, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, language, nationality, beauty, occupation, education, criminality, sport team affiliation or other personal characteristics. In this case, it refers to a positive or negative evaluation of another person based on that person’s perceived group membership.“Wikipedia contributors, ‘Prejudice‘, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
The following quote, is taken from an online article about both Constructing and Deconstructing prejudice which could help you if you want to explore this topic further…
“Prejudice…is less an “attitude” than it is a “resource system”. Although it’s common to think of prejudice as a set of values and behavior-dispositions we carry about in our heads, a more expansive view is to see it also as a set of social and cultural formations, group-supported ideas and practices that can be used to disable the life-prospects of wide categories of people. Most of the time, we do not think about these resources or our access to them, But when the situation demands they can be brought out and applied, sometimes with deadly effect.”Thomas Henricks, Ph.D. Constructing and Deconstructing Prejudice
Take some time away from this documentation to think of at least ONE example where you have acted with prejudice?
Don’t be too hard on yourself as WE have ALL done so before but the crucial lesson now is to learn from it this time and grow as a person from this.
Where did this and other prejudices you may have noticed in you came from? Do you really believe in them?
With the above in mind, ‘I’ also wanted to draw your attention to the word Egalitarian in the above Wikipedia definition regarding Human rights and these being “the same for everyone” by also sharing what Wikipedia defines Egalitarianism as…
“Egalitarianism (from French égal, meaning ‘equal’) – or equalitarianism – is a school of thought that prioritizes equality for all people. Egalitarian doctrines maintain that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status. Egalitarianism is a trend of thought in political philosophy. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the term has two distinct definitions in modern English: either as a political doctrine that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social and civil rights; or as a social philosophy advocating the removal of economic inequalities among people, economic egalitarianism, or the decentralization of power. Some sources define egalitarianism as the point of view that equality reflects the natural state of humanity.”Wikipedia contributors, ‘Egalitarianism‘, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 6 October 2018, 18:24 UTC
One of the most powerful parts of the above definition OUR fellow humans have created is the point of view expressed that “equality reflects the natural state of humanity“.
If WE all lived by as many of those UN Human Rights articles as possible would WE as species return back to a more natural state of living?
Well despite what those, usually in positions of power, try to tell us daily via their fear based news or actions, ‘I’ am telling you that yes WE share far more in common as Humans than most realise – no matter the skin colour, gender, country of birth or sexuality of OUR fellow Humans.
“The differences between the many are few but OUR issues with the few are many.”m0r4h3u5
Reminding ourselves of this common humanity regularly as well as your power to control the future by your actions is something WE all need to do and is really the core of this documentation.
However, for now, if you are still reading this then let’s introduce or actually reintroduce another Human related definition from earlier called Human Needs…