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Culture

Define “Human” …

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Personalities come in all shapes and forms; some people relate highly to facts and intellect, while others run by intuition and emotion, but we all have a bit of each. Throughout history, however, people have valued intellect heavily over other human characteristics, even to the point of differentiating themselves from neanderthals solely based on our ability to think! Think about it: the scientific name for humans, “homosapien,” comes from Latin roots homo, meaning “man”, and sapien, meaning “to be wise.” The official definition of a human is “wise man,” or “human with intelligence,” but is our ability to think really the only aspect that differentiates us from animals?

One of the most unique and valuable human traits is our intuition and our ability to love. Unlike animals, who only have an instinctual mind, we possess both an instinctual and a spiritual mind. The Divine Principle highlights our minds’ distinct faculties of intellect, emotion and will, which drive us to pursue truth, beauty, goodness and love. Knowing we have all these aspects, these unique gifts from God, can make us go about our relationships in a new way: we begin to think about our reactions, study how our attitude reflects our values, and make an effort to cultivate our emotional awareness and “intelligence” of the heart. Here are some of our ideas for connecting to all that makes us who we are:

Trust Your Gut

Do you ever get gut feelings and you just know something is right or wrong? “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” These powerful words by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin imply that our intuition does not come from instinct, but from our connection to the spiritual word. So rather than trying to explain away the gut feelings that you get, follow them! As a person with inherent divinity, God often speaks to us through how we feel. Our original mind is connected to God but shrouded by fallen nature, but the Divine Principle tells us that our conscience exists to direct us towards what we think is good (57). If our intuition and conscience are aligned, then we are able to listen to our gut.

Find Fulfillment Pursuing Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and Love

Do you ever feel your spirit soar with the crescendo as you listen to classical music? Do you ever feel an indescribable connection to a work of art? If we are spiritual, loving beings, then aren’t we are fulfilling our purpose when we fill our lives with love, beauty and goodness? Surround yourself with people you love, and who love you. Study God’s Word, as well as science, math, anthropology, history and literature. Create art and music. Listen to music, go to art museums, go hiking. Allow your heart to be opened by the beauty and love and truth in this world, and dedicate yourself to bringing more good things into the world.

Value All of Your Abilities

In order to be balanced, successful people, we need to develop our emotional maturity, as well as our intellect and will. Maya Angelou said, “Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.” We can add to her wise words, that the temple also cannot be built without a blueprint. Work to develop all three faculties, regardless of which comes easier to you. They are all important, and balance is necessary for contentment.

Respect One Another

Isn’t it nice to have a friend who you can turn to for a different perspective? Maybe they are more emotionally sensitive, so they help you consider how your decisions will affect others. Maybe they are more practical, and can advise you when you plan for your future. Just like it is important to balance emotion, intellect, and will, it is important to value others for their unique balance. As both spiritual and physical beings, humans are unbelievably precious—even if they have a harder time in the classroom, or if they need to work on their compassion. Value the strengths in your peers, and choose not to look down on those whose strengths are different from your own.

Next time somebody calls you a homo sapien, correct them and tell them that you are a homo amans, which in Latin, means love. Proudly declare yourself a “human with the ability to love.” Value yourself, and other people, for that.