02 September 2010

Being Human

Great is the station of man.
Great must also be his endeavours
for the rehabilitation of the world and the well-being of nations.

"Being human" has in many quarters become shorthand for feebleness, inconsistency, and vulnerability to errors both practical and ethical. Should a person fall short someone might console her: “We’re all human,” “That’s just human nature,” etc. If someone were to utter these words as praise for an accomplishment, other might perceive it as an underhanded insult. Humanity has become an excuse; and I find this completely unacceptable. That such grave incompetence could be conveyed with this single expression betrays a profound despondency in our individual and collective capacities. The Bahá’í Faith, however, is structured around a mode of human life that is entirely reversed. Here, the human form takes on a noble and exalted position. The expression, "mere humanity" comes across as an oxymoron.

So as to muster up the strength for great endeavors, a vision of human life is needed that joyfully and unreservedly celebrates the nobility and capacity of the human form. I think this is what we see in the plans given to the Baha'i world by the Universal House of Justice.


  1. Interesting insight. Your right, I have never heard of somebody being praised in such words as, "your human!" Appealing to a failed definition of humanity can just be an excuse for bad behavior. On the other hand, I think the expression is most often meant in a spirit of humility and empathy.

  2. brilliant write up. the usage of the phrase "being human" is kind of like an epidemic.