What makes people human?

What makes us human? It’s a question that has been asked throughout history, and one that still confounds us today. Sure, we have opposable thumbs and can use tools, but so can chimps. What else sets us apart? Is it our big brains? Or our capacity for language? Our penchant for art and music? Or is there something more elusive at work here? Let’s explore what makes us human. Join me on this journey as we try to answer one of the oldest questions around.

Everyone has emotions, even if they don’t show them

It’s often said that everyone has emotions, but it can be hard to tell sometimes. Even people who have a seemingly unbreakable facade will have strong feelings underneath the surface. While it may not happen all the time, if you catch them in the right mood and circumstance, they might just let you see those emotions come out. It can be really heartwarming to actually observe someone showing how they truly feel, whether it be joy or sadness, pride or disappointment. From experience, I know that it’s an opportunity not to be missed.

People are capable of rational and logical thought

People have an amazing capacity for rational, logical thought. Every day we are faced with complex decisions, and thanks to our innate sense of reason, we can analyze the situation and make an informed decision. Of course, it’s not only in everyday life that this skill is important – take science for example. Throughout the centuries, humankind has built upon theoretical ideas and hypotheses to build great advances in knowledge and technology. Without our natural ability for abstract reasoning, none of this would be possible! It’s quite astounding to consider just how capable people really are when it comes to thought processes.

We have the ability to communicate with one another through language

Language has been integral to our species since the dawn of civilization. We have the remarkable ability to construct words, and converse, allowing us to express thoughts in a way that is easily understood by others. Communicating through language is a skill we are born with, yet it takes practice to master its complexities. Our capacity for verbal communication further entwines our lives together by providing us with an ever-growing list of ways to interact and understand one another, while also allowing us to make connections across nations, cultures, and distances. Language opens up countless possibilities for relationships of all kinds—reminding us that even the simplest conversation can be powerful.

We’re able to form relationships with others

It’s so incredible how we can create meaningful connections with other human beings. We’re able to understand and empathize with each other, pick up on body language cues, and share our thoughts and feelings. All of these things enable us to form relationships in ways that were previously impossible; it’s amazing how much depth a connection between two people can have when taking into consideration their backgrounds, cultures, and more. Even if we don’t meet someone face-to-face, we have the internet which has opened a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to fostering relationships. Being able to communicate our ideas quickly over vast distances is incredible, but nothing can beat being in the same room where you can truly appreciate just how close two people can become.

Our sense of morality sets us apart from other animals

Our ability to differentiate right from wrong sets us apart from other animals in a unique way – it’s what makes us human. Being able to make good decisions and helping others no matter the situation, not because of some expecting reward, is an astonishing moral achievement that can only be attributed to our species. We have an insight within ourselves that other animals don’t possess but which inspires us to constantly learn and grow, discovering new ways of achieving what we believe to be righteous actions. Morality is the backbone of our society, guiding our interactions and bringing continuity for future generations. It interlinks us all with a shared understanding of how we should treat each other, knowing how far we are capable of pushing ourselves in order to do the right thing. Without this key part of human nature, the world wouldn’t function as we know it today.

We have the desire to learn and understand the world around us

Throughout history, humans have been driven by a strong innate curiosity to learn and understand the world around them. This is what has propelled us to explore and uncover secrets of the universe, to come up with innovative solutions, shape our society and build a better future. With this quest for knowledge, we have made immense strides in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as other fields that carry knowledge that contributes to progress. It is important for adults to foster this desire for learning in children from an early age so that they can continue this valuable pursuit of knowledge as adults. Doing so helps us grow as individuals as well as benefit society at large.

While our human capacity for emotions, thought, language, relationships, morality, and knowledge is incredible, it’s important to remember how fragile and vulnerable we are in the face of the larger universe. We have immense power to create wonderful things and beautiful worlds for ourselves and others; however, understanding and respecting the environment of which we are a part — both nature and society — is essential for us to thrive. By learning from our past mistakes, utilizing our reasoning skills, communicating with those around us respectfully and compassionately, working together to form meaningful relationships, acknowledging our shared sense of morality in order to live ethically and sustainably, and always striving to pursue knowledge can help all of us reach a brighter future.

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