What are the critical elements that make us human? Do these elements transpond time and space, cultures and continents, communities, families? We breath the same air, occupy the same planet, live and die, but beyond these how similar are we? Genetics play a grand role in determining our human characteristics such as hair and eye color, stature, other physical traits along with many capabilities such as brainpower and physical dexterity. Our environment also plays a special role. Where we were born, the time frame, our parents and extended family begin us on our journey and then comes all of the other potential encounters and experiences. It is nature versus nurture and so much more.
Our humanity is influenced by the civilization in which we live, the morality and mortality factors that affect our lives and living, the human condition that surrounds us, and the variables of life. Humanity is also the characteristic that presents itself through our kindness, compassion, and sympathy for others. Having been brought up in a loving, two-parent home, with terrific sisters as role models, I was taught to love the out-of-doors and nature, physical fitness, and education, my family and friends, and to live with generosity and goodness toward others. Because my family likes each other, we can also love each other, forgiving the errors we make and embracing the wonders of family. I think this solid foundation of mutual respect set up much of the personal life I live now.
Because of my upbringing and experiences, I model my behavior in certain ways but I also know that others live differently and I work hard to accept that that is their right. While I feel relief that I never was put in a situation where I needed to consider an abortion, I respect that that is a decision that others might make. I live in a loving heterosexual relationship but I understand that others might desire to live in a different style. As a woman I have freedom to go and do and choose, but I realize that this is not true everywhere in the world and while this is hard to accept, I appreciate that other women live a different life. I embrace the freedoms that are provided to me in this country and see them as quite wonderful, but I realize that others live differently and that these freedoms appear altogether wrong. In my recognition of the variation of humans and their lifestyles, I believe I exemplify compassion and consideration to all humankind.
I found it interesting to read that some communities that have been overtaken by ISIS forces are quite content to have these soldiers present. One man stated that at least with ISIS there is no corruption and no greed and as long as he stays within their good graces, he lives a safe and secure life. The murders that surrounded him just seemed to be the way things are and he is neither alarmed nor particularly interested. He feels his life is in better shape under what I view as a reign of terror than his previous life, which I would also view as a life of terror. The article mentions the fact that ISIS and similar forces may win out in the end simply because citizens are satisfied with this less terroristic lifestyle and acceptance of current conditions.
This type of life and ideology are alien to me but if I am human and a true member of humanity, I must accept that for some, freedom is valued differently and is not necessarily the government and life choice they want. Who am I to judge? I do not live in these nations, I have not been brought up in these cultures, I have little understanding other than brief visits abroad, reading, and listening to the news. And so as a human, while I am willing to help and education, it is not my job to interfere with criticism or moral degradation. I am fortunate to live where and how I do, but it is not mine to subject upon others.