My Thoughts on Human Nature

This is heavy.

But, my thoughts tend to go that way. And this is my blog. So I will write this.

I had a college prof who liked to clutter our minds. One week, the discussion was “what is it that makes us human?” I suggested the desire to improve, doing whatever it is that we do. If we’re criminals, we strive to become better criminals. If we’re lazy, we strive to get better at avoiding work. (Of course, this holds true for positive changes as well).

I still think this is true. However, there is something more. Something significant, that we are forgetting.

It’s compassion. It’s caring. As humans, we’re driven to help one another–or at least not to harm–and sometimes even to sacrifice for each other. Even if it means going against our animal nature.

Why else would there be a growing movement to save the environment? Why else would there be the Peace Corps and so many charities to help people worldwide? Why else would there be people willing to donate blood, bone marrow, and even kidneys to total strangers?

Contrary to stereotype, it’s not just the “hippie do-gooders.” It’s in everyone. It’s competing with greed, another strong force that affects us as humans. Greed rules our society right now, causing many people to be afraid to go against the grain and do what they know to be right.

When people submit to greed, they are denying an essential part of their humanity. They see life as a competition, which it is not. We are not animals, competing for food. We are humans, capable of taking just our share and leaving plenty for others.

When people shove others down, out of fear for their own survival or even just some perceived competition, they are denying their humanity.

We were all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

Marianne Williamson

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