#HumanFirst | What it Means to Be Human | New Series

Hey, this is the start of a new series on Hayat Soulful called #HumanFirst. Welcome! I was inspired to create this series from actually overusing the hashtag on my social media for years – it was generally to bring about awareness on how we create SO many societal differences amongst ourselves but fail to recognize that we are all humans, FIRST.

Saying that, have you ever considered what it actually means to be human? What separates us from other animals and uniquely characterizes us as humans?

Intelligence… probably the most common conclusion we can come to. When asking myself this question, I instantly came to the same answer. But supposing we put ourselves in a scenario of the future, where artificial intelligence is far more developed and active than it is now. How would we be distinguished as humans then? Yes, our capacity of cognitive reasoning, imagination, creative arts, and intellect are more advanced and superior to our animal counterparts, but they are not the sole characteristics that define our human nature.

EQ… emotional intelligence. Our ability as human beings to be driven by emotions, to connect with others, to empathize and love are all qualities far superior to animals as well. Yet, for some reason in the modern day, we tend to overlook this important nature in us.

We live in a “progressive” world where often the simplicity of life is traded in with the drive to exceed our intellectual ambitions – whether it’s in the field of science, technology, politics, economics, finance, and even fine arts to an extent. Of course, advancements in these fields and many others are a wonderful thing and they show how much human civilization can achieve. However, its only ONE sided. We often find now that our humanity is lacking as the world is “progressing” more. Why?

To be human, in our core, is to be able to love – as cliche as that may sound, and as we have come to perceive – but it’s the most vital truth of our existence.

Love thy neighbour as thyself / Whatever you wish others do unto you, also do to them – The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule is reflected again and again in all the major religions of the world, as well as in many traditional philosophical debates. Yet, for the most part, we are living in contradiction to this principle. We bind ourselves to what is comfortable and what we know. We play into the hands of fear by not making efforts to expand our humanity.

To be human is to live in accordance of how we are made – to live in a balance of IQ and EQ. To explore BOTH of these realms within and out, and not give more value to one than the other.

This series is made with the intention to highlight our love for mankind and break the barriers of our differences and artificial conditionings. You can expect to find various topics coming soon in #HumanFirst; please stay tuned.

On an endnote, I’d like to share a good read I recently finished, for those interested: “Why Can’t We Be Good?” by the contemporary Philosopher and Professor of San Francisco State University, Dr. Jacob Needleman.

why can't we be good

…When allowed to take all of our attention, these impulses become bestial – that is, destructive of their truly human purpose, which is to be part of the great task of man to live in the created world among one’s fellow human beings as an instrument of higher purposes.
-Needleman, Ch. 14, pg. 222

Peace & Love ♥

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