Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Random Thoughts of a Hopelessly Human

This article was originally published on Nov. 9th at americanchronicle.com

I have to admit, I am hopelessly human. I am fallible. I’ve made my share of mistakes in my life, some small and some rather significant. We all make mistakes, it’s part of being human. Making mistakes is how we learn. The important things are that we learn how not to make the same mistake again and we strive to better ourselves. It is also important to recognize the fault in yourself, forgive yourself for that fault, and move on. It can be very unhealthy to dwell upon past mistakes. We should endeavor to do this for others also. Forgive others for their mistakes as you would yourself. This does not mean I think one should not be held accountable for their mistakes, but once amends have been made all should be forgiven and forgotten. Of course, if the same mistake is made time and time again, it should no longer be considered a mistake so much as a character defect. I may or may not have my character defects also, but that should be determined by who is voluntarily interacting with me and how much they are willing to tolerate. This should be true of all relationships.

I have my needs. I need to be loved. I need to be accepted. But I also need to be independent. I need to be my own man. What is love if it costs me my freedom? What is acceptance if I am to be a slave? I need to measure my needs against the costs of obtaining them. If I die in the wilds a cold and lonely man, I would not have lived in vain, for I would have gotten to know myself better, to love myself, and to accept myself. I need to breathe, to eat and to drink clean water. All this nature can provide for me but if I obtain sustenance in the jungle of modern society through hard work, so much the better, for nature can be a harsh mistress. I need to accept and love myself before I can accept and love others. I need to live peacefully with my demons that dwell beside me in this body before I can live peacefully beside the demons that dwell beside me in the physical world.

I have my wants and desires. I want to be rich. I want to be well known. I desire companionship. These things may or may not come with time. They may or may not reflect the value of my work in this physical world. I have worked hard for little gain. I have also experienced large gains through only little work. I have had many friends in my life, and I have had times of extreme isolation and loneliness. It all seems to come with the heartbeat of life, the sine wave that our bodies naturally emit. There are peaks and valleys, good times and bad, triumphs and defeats. We all laugh sometimes, and sometimes we cry. In life, the important things are not necessarily what we earn, but how we work and what we leave behind. This may not necessarily be something one has built physically, but can be something one has built spiritually. Will I leave others that have known me with good memories? Will I be an influence on future generations after I’m gone? Will my being here make this world a better place, or will others suffer for my existence? What good are all the riches in the world if I must lose my soul to obtain them? I can’t go through life anonymously so long as I have had a friend. I will never be alone if I can find a companion in myself.

I think, sometimes too much, sometimes too little. I’ve done smart things, and I’ve been stupid. Sometimes I’m stupid because I’m trying to be smart. Sometimes I say the wrong thing, or I don’t say anything at all when I should. I have also said things that have earned me praise from my fellow man. I can make others laugh, I can make them cry, I can make them angry, I can make them glad, I can make them think, and hopefully at times I can make them care. This is all part of the human experience. I’m glad I’m hopelessly human. It has to be better than being hopelessly protozoan.

As a hopelessly human, I ask a few things. I ask that I be allowed to live my own life. I ask that I be allowed to make my own decisions. I ask that I be allowed to celebrate my victories and regret my mistakes. I ask that I be given a chance to learn from them. I ask that I be allowed to keep what I earn. I ask that I be allowed to decide who to do business with and who to interact with. I ask that I be allowed to utilize and pay for only the services I choose. I ask to be as free as possible in a society that longs for freedom, yet at times wants to give it up for security. I think that, given the chance, we will find a greater degree of security wrapped in the openness of the transparency of freedom than we will find under the cloak of secrecy the tyrant uses to hide his misdeeds in the name of societal protection. Grant these things for all and we will be able to blossom into the best possible humans we can become. Deny them, and we all shrivel into something less under the watchful eye of the jealous controllers as they dictate our evolution. We are all hopelessly human. Let us all hope to become the best humans possible.

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