Tuesday, May 17, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

Be proud, human

Greetings fellow human!

Humans have been getting a lot of flack lately. Every day we are bombarded by the flaws and errors of our species. We are killing off entire classes of animals, polluting the world to the point of it being near inhabitable, we go to war, kill, rape, murder, destroy and pervert everything in our path.

If you subject yourself to regular sittings through our various news outlets you would be hard pressed not to give up on humankind all together. After all, what other species can match our ability to commit unspeakable evil? Does any other animal destroy the world just by their mere presence? Would any other lifeforms feed ding dongs to their young?

It is true that humans are capable and responsible for some pretty bad stuff. It is also true that humans are capable and responsible for absolutely amazing things. We are in fact the most amazing creatures to ever walk the planet. This
fact is severely underreported in the news so it's easy to see how people lose track of this. So here is my counter point; a celebration of humankind.

We are humans and a lot of the things we can do is amazing, yet we don't really give ourselves credit for it. Mostly we go through our day not really stopping to think about all the multitude of awesome things humans do every day. We are so
used to our brilliance that it doesn't really impress on us during our regular day. Then when we do witness something truly spectacular we will stop and watch for a few moments, say well done, and move on with our lives. Not often do we
stop to reflect on the unique abilities we have as humans.

I realized how brilliant humans are in a flash a few years ago while watching a video on youtube of all things. The video was of a street performer and his string puppet. The puppet was a skeleton figure that was commanded with great skill by
the puppet master. In short, an amusing video on youtube of someone doing something unusal. I have seen many videos before and since with similar content, but this particular video got me thinking.

The little skeleton puppet has tons of personality, but it is really just a few pieces of wood and string. Anything the puppet does comes from a human mind. The puppeteer injects anything that is interesting into the puppet. The facial expressions, the movement, the humor, all of it is displayed by a few pieces of wood, but created by a human.

This really struck a cord with me, because that is where we shine as humans. We create things. Not out of necessity, but for the joy of creating and sharing awesome things. Some of the more advanced primates display a similar interest in
creating stuff, but no one comes close to us when it comes to sheer genius of creation. Humans everywhere create beautiful paintings, they take dead objects and use them to make amazing music. The skills needed are impressive, but what really
sets us apart is the abundance of creative minds.

We create language. It is an amazing tool for letting people know what you are thinking. That we can use and create language in itself is a feat every human should be infinitely proud about, but we don't stop there. As soon as we have words, we start creating with them as well. Poetry, story telling, prose, songs and rhymes. The human mind will not stop creating awesome stuff.

We create amazing buildings and technology, travel into space, send messages across the world in fractions of a second. None of it was handed to us, we as humans have created it. Everywhere you look you will see evidence of how utterly amazing we humans are. It's just that we've been so very awesome for so very long that it's easy to take it for granted and not really sit back and realize fully just how great we are.

We create and form, but we are more than that. I often hear people marvel at the physical attributes of animals. The speed and elegance of a running full bred, the damn building skills of a beaver or the brute force of a lion. Not often do people marvel at the physical might of humans. But we are impressive animals. We are stronger and faster than most other animals. We keep our balance on two feet and can use our hands to do things that makes other animals green with envy. We are physically impressive. Watch a gymnast or a dancer, or observe a rock climber or a martial artist. Humans can move in mysterious ways. The natural true expression of our bodies is not to be overweight and hardly able to get around a mall. True human nature is to glide through our environment with incredible elegance and ease. The next time you see an impressive parkour video, realize that the
impossible moves you see are part of what makes us human. It makes us amazing.

So the next time you want to get down on our species, stop to think for a minute about all the reasons why humans are great. Why we are great. Why YOU are great.

Be proud, human!

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