Being Human (Article)

Being Human (Article)

A Story by Ibrahim Hoti

A look at empathy, human nature, and other basics.


Theodore Roosevelt once said, "the more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future". This sentiment, which has been shared by many other great historical figures from Abraham Lincoln and Karl Marx, has proven itself correct time and time again. The greatest reason for this is that human nature never really changes; no matter where the place is, or what the generation is, humans are still all the same species, and everyone experiences the same emotions, and largely the same thought process, as anyone else. This is why, no matter where the place or what the time, humans will repeat general history and general actions, just in different situations and circumstances.

Perhaps the emotion that most affects global actions in many ways is hate, and when you combine that with the right mix of fear and difficult situations, you get an ever-present haunting spectre known as bigotry, and in more extreme and often far right-wing situations, fascism. Casual (and sometimes even violent) racism is everywhere, always, in the form of prejudices and stereotypes, because hate is a human emotion, and no matter how many laws are implemented, no law can ever change human emotions. This problem, however, can take a much darker turn rather easily, in the case of economic and social hardships, where subtle racism can often transgress into fascism and fascist movements. History's seen the brunt of this, many times, with the rise of Mussolini and Hitler in the Europe, Ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, slavery of certain races throughout history, and any other genocide, oppression or violent movement against people of a certain race, ethnicity or religion. Yet people often like to look at horrific events of the past and think of them as nonexistent in today's world. What few people ever really grasp, is that no matter what the age is, history is always capable of repeating itself, and more often than not, if we keep on denying historic events, it will repeat itself. This is because human nature never really changes, and even though it's possible to say things like slavery and child suicide bombers, are either a thing of the past, or are a new generation's actions, it's simply not true, and history clearly shows that. Now, this bigotry may try to camouflage itself by being targeted at different people or different groups, depending upon the period of time, but when it rears its ugly head, it can often lead to extreme violence and terrible consequences.

At the beginning of this piece, I mentioned common human emotions aren't only present at all times, but also in all places, and that is something people often don't realize. Even in an increasingly globalizing world, most people still hold onto the irrational idea that their country or region is the only developed one and that everywhere else is broken down or inferior. Indeed, this may actually be a result of enhanced globalization, through media, as now there's less of a need to actually experience different cultures yourself. As well as that, a very one-dimensional portrayal is often given to many countries, by the media, which can lead to enhanced negative stereotypes and, in turn, more prejudice and less understanding. The worst part of this completely unrealistic representation is that it's "innocent" route, allows it to influence the minds of other people, who, themselves, have no experience of that particular country, race or religion whatsoever. I can, in fact, vouch for this, as I can't tell you how many times I've heard an otherwise completely decent people go off on a rant about a particular country or group of people because they don't actually have any real experiences with them. This really just comes down to people viewing "the other" as another type of being, and allowing their anger and fear to blind them as to how human everyone really is.

Even though fear and anger will always be parts of human nature, all people are also complex beings; this ensures that even though hate and prejudice will never truly fade away, everyone will also always be capable of showing empathy and looking at things through another person's eyes. That part of human nature is a truly beautiful one, and if it's allowed to shine through it can, if only for a while, make hate and bigotry seem insignificant and small in the presence of the much largely empathy. In the end of the day, empathy is part and parcel of being a human being, and no matter what the time is, or where the place is, human nature will always be a constant, in a rapidly evolving world. It's thus vitally important to remember that at the end of the day, people are people, and they were never anything different, regardless of how many developments were made and how far cultures have moved on through time. No matter where you go, people are no different and, at the end of the day, they all have their own reasons, and they aren't too different from you and me.

© 2016 Ibrahim Hoti

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I agree.
"No matter where you go, people are no different and, in the end of the day, they all have their own reasons, and they aren't too different from you and I."
When we learn. This is one earth and one people. We must get along. Thank you for sharing the excellent story with great wisdom.

Posted 2 Years Ago

Human are flawed and "complex" beings. It is our nature. We have the ability to not only create our own chaos; with our own minds and our very words, but unfortunately, we can also project our own fears and inadequacies on others. Which creates intolerance and hate. I think to bring peace, we must first create peace within ourselves. Kindness and compassion: can create ripples that can have a far more reaching effects on our world. With open hearts and open minds: we can finally make the changes we seek by first changing our minds.

A very moving and thought-provoking article. It inspires all to reflect on our own beliefs.
Think before we speak or do. I enjoyed reading this. Very profound message in this piece.

Posted 2 Years Ago

Excellent Article. A very relevant point and a well written article.

Posted 2 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on July 20, 2016
Last Updated on August 3, 2016


Ibrahim Hoti
Ibrahim Hoti

Islamabad, South Asia, Pakistan

"We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers."- Emmeline Pankhurst. "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."- Albert Ei.. more..


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