There are many things I’ve learned in my life and many of them, I’ve forgotten. At some point in my primary School years I must have learned phonics rules in some way, shape, or form. I obviously didn’t commit them to memory because I was surprised to learn that they exist as an adult. (I also must not have learned them exceptionally well as I am not the best speller!!) I’ve been teaching my my boys to read these last few years in our homeschooling adventures! The phonics rules have regained their usefulness, necessity, and place in my cognitive daily thinking once again!!! It’s amazing how important sometimes seemingly simple things can become.
One thing I haven’t entirely forgotten is the concept of, “The Human Condition.” I remember in my High School English classes with teachers, Mark Simon and David Shydecker, discussing and analyzing literature. I remember learning about the human condition. I remember that no matter how different the characters, the circumstances, the conflicts, were from story to story, the human conditions were present in every story.
What is the human condition you ask? Well I would define it as the sentiments, the physiological responses, the feelings, the thoughts, and the actions that all humans have in common. Now I don’t mean that we are all the same. If you’ve lived long enough and interacted with people, you know they are all VERY different. But we are all very similar in our Humanity, or our Human Condition.
Our human condition possesses several different drives/desires. One of those is a drive to aquire food. We all need to eat to survive. We share this drive no matter what race, nationality, sex, or age we are. Some people like meat, some don’t, some like veggies, others think potatoes are vegetables. Some people have allergies, some people are just persnickety. Some people love to create foods that tantilize the senses, while others could care less. Some people eat for pleasure, while others eat to survive. Some people are emotional eaters or have addictions to food. Some people eat with intentionality and others just eat. In the end we all need to eat.
I have also observed that humans desire to be loved and accepted. The other side of those desires are fear and rejection. If you watch the news or read Facebook you will observe that humans are really having a very difficult time loving one another and accepting the things that are different about each other. People label these issues as racism, sexism, and prejudices. I think we need to look beyond the labels of the behaviors. I think we need to look deeper and admit that humanity has a tendency to dehumanize that which crosses a line of different that we are no longer “comfortable” with.
Despite all the things that make us different. We need to remember that we are all Humans, collectively together as a whole group. We are all Humans TOGETHER!
We all have moments of fear, rejection and frustrations. Hopefully at some point we all feel joy, excitement, and acceptance too. Our experiences will be different, our ethnicity, religion, sex, and skin color will be different. But I guarantee that if we could all be honest for one moment, maybe we could acknowledge that all humans experience so many of the similar emotions, thoughts, desires, and drives.
These human conditions will vary depending on the circumstances, the intensity in which they are felt, and the frequency in which they occur. Many of these variables will depend on us. They will depend on our choices. They will depend on the perspective and attitudes we choose to have about the life experiences we go through. But, no matter the variable every human will experience fear of some kind, rejection of some type, acceptance from someone, joy in some form, and love in some way.
Despite the similarities we must also keep in mind the differences. They both make us who we are. They both together help make “Humanity” the beautiful Mosaic that it is. I think too often we have let those differences divide us from one another. I hope we can begin to remember that we are all human. I hope that we can begin to accept that we may never fully understand one another, and must offer grace and kindness to each other. It’s far too easy to stand in your own circle and fully acknowledge your own humanity while denying the very same humanity of the person next to you because you do not understand or accept what makes them different from yourself.
Let me drive the point home in another way. The most confident person you know, still feels inadequate in certain situations. The most attractive person you know still feels unattractive at times. The most intelligent person you can think of, still feels like they have so much to learn. The person who seems so full of themselves, still wants to be accepted by others. The person who seems to fear nothing and can face anything still gets sweaty palms, knee pits, and arm pits. All humans feel. All humans have fear. All humans have insecurities. We may feel differently about things. We may have different fears. We may not share the same insecurities, but our humanity is more similar than what meets the eye.
If we could step out of our own circle of self and look upon each other with compassion towards humanity, maybe we could change and be more UNITED than divided!
Lord help us to see one another through your eyes. Lord help us to hear the hearts of one another. Jesus help to not respond to one another out of our fears, our insecurities, and our ignorance. Jesus help us to be filled with your love so that we can RESPOND with your love. In Jesus name we ask these things Amen!