Is it possible to fail – at being human?

 

You can fail a math’s test. You can fail to acquire an internship position. You can fail to successfully complete a project to adequate standards. But is it possible to fail at being a living, breathing human being?

What makes a human being who they are? Okay, would you consider a person born with a head and a torso, but no legs and no arms a human? They can do everything a human can, with the exception of using the appendages that they do not have. Is this specific person a human? Yes, in my opinion; this shows that physicality does not alter one’s humanity.

That would leave the psychology of humanity.

Tell me, when you see on the news acts of intense violence; unspeakable slaughter and genocidal actions; civil and international war; unspeakably heinous evil; the people who are involved in instigating these actions, do you think ‘this is not what humans are meant to do – they are absolutely terrible at being human’, or do you think ‘that is what humans are supposed to do, and therefore, my inability to commit such acts of violence proves I am incompetent at being human’?

Additionally, if you see people that you know injuring others either verbally or through physical abuse, do you think that they are failing to be human, or do you think that you are for not being involved?

Now, maybe someone could simply say that such an argument revolves around human decency and the idea that some people are generally good and others are not, and it is all a matter of choice.

I am making an alternative argument. I am saying, what if, hypothetically, to be human means that you need to be violent – that such is a mandatory requirement, a fixture of our genetic structure – that it is our destiny and we cannot escape from it – none of us can. What if humanity is supposed to naturally be a race of violent zealots?

What if those who are causing horrific acts of violence; those who do bad onto others; those who hate, loathe and incite rage; what if these people are not the monsters? What if the people who do not commit these acts; the people who do not harm, abuse and bully; what if these people are the freaks; the incompetent delinquents; the monsters of society?

Would it be too hard to imagine? War, after war, after war, after confrontation, after confrontation, after confrontation; it seems that one group of people on the planet win a tremendous battle, and the next day another, far more violent confrontation has sprung up to take its place.

Moreover, how many times have you thought you knew a person; you befriended them, talked with them, worked with them, helped them, and they in turn returned these favors and worked and talked with you? How many times has something happened, something nefarious, and all of a sudden, this person you thought you knew is no longer perceived in a positive light, but you see them as a horrible individual? They have made a mockery of you; they are tormenting you; they suddenly loathe you.

Was this occurrence inevitable? Were they always this person underneath what could have been a deceitful façade all this time? Or was it you who triggered this by wronging them? But if this was a surprise occurrence, then technically, it would not have been you who caused this, right? So, how could this have come to fruition?

One could argue that society has laws which state that those who enact acts of violence will be punished for their offences? But how often do you see these offences going unpunished? How often do you see those who are supposed to protect society and uphold the law doing quite the opposite? How often do you see people harming others in comparison to people helping others?

Why is it that violence is often inevitably the first action to be taken, rather than the hope for a peaceful resolution with formalised discussion?

Why is it that a person can commit the most heinous acts imaginable, and then be so easily forgiven by their God with but a few prayers and words?

Why is it that when most people become drunk and intoxicated they do not suddenly begin acting so nice and caringly, but so violent and aggressively?

Why is it that children as young as five are carrying knives and are becoming involved in acts of horrific evil, like stabbing another child?

Why is it that on the news, you are quite often no longer shocked to hear of a suicide bomber killing several dozen people; no longer shocked to hear a warlord is on a genocidal rampage; no longer shocked to hear a husband beat his wife to death and killed his children; no longer shocked to hear a young man went on a rampage in the city, murdering and raping women; no longer shocked to hear that a person was murdered and the person who killed him or her did so without a reason?

Why is it that the news is often filled with acts of evil rather than acts of kindness?

Why is it that random acts of violence are filmed on smart phones, uploaded to the internet not five minutes later, and after an hour are suddenly the most popular videos online?

Why is it that on occasion, doing the right thing can seem so wrong, yet doing the wrong thing can feel more right than any other option?

Why is it that sometimes sorrow, pain, anger, animosity and heart ache come as easily as breathing, whilst happiness seems so incredibly difficult?

On that note, I have one final question;

When can somebody honestly say without a doubt in their mind ‘I am not very good at being human’?

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4 comments on “Is it possible to fail – at being human?

  1. You’re digging yourself into a hole by considering these things. In my opinion, humans have an equal tendency to be good or bad, but they fail when they allow themselves to turn to the bad side. Sadly these days a lot of people are allowing themselves to do so, and they’re usually people with a lot of power, which is why we get to see them more often. A good person usually doesn’t like to show off their good deeds, no?

    • This was more of a think piece my dear. I was not entirely suggesting that such thoughts dominate my conciousness. However, you do make some good points and your positivity, optimism and truthful articulation of what hopefully is, is quite refreshingly enoyable on an issue of such negativity, as this post obviously was. Thank you for the comment

  2. Wow. That was some deep, philosophical stuff. This would be a really interesting concept for a novel or short story. Just putting it out there! To be honest, I don’t believe that humans can fail at being human. I mean, a dog can’t fail at being a dog. It can defy all expectations and norms, yet it is still undeniably the same creature. I’m not implying that humans are like dogs in the least. All I’m saying is that humans are humans no matter what we do or how we behave. Yes, there are moral codes and expectations as to how we should behave, but failure to follow them does not make us any less of a human being. In fact, I believe that the freedom to make our own choices and to be responsible for them is what makes us human in the first place. Unfortunately, a lot of humans nowadays are behaving in a manner which is detrimental to society and to others. Whilst I do not believe that one can fail at being a human being, I do believe that one can fail at being a good human being. That’s just my opinion though! Interesting post. 🙂

    • Thank you for the comment. You do make some good, relevant, very believable points that cannot be argued against. Your argument at making choices and failing at being ‘good’ rather than failing one’s humanity in general is an interesting point, and I will agree that such is an accurate conclusion.
      I was musing some thoughts together during the promulgation of this post and just really wanted to see what people thought. Thank you again for the comment! Your opinion is always welcome!

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