As it turns out, I am a human.
Although it would seem that such an assumption should already be understood by some twenty years of existence, I have realized recently that it is not. Instead, I have been persisting in a delusion.
For a while now, I thought that my self-worth was something guaranteed. I thought I was important. I thought that I mattered. Most importantly, I thought I was different – unique even.
But, I am not.
Besides having a twin, I am human as already mentioned. As a result, I am no different from the lot of them – distinct as they may seem to be.
Perhaps my delusion lies in the fact that as a species that muddles in a spirit of invulnerability, labels, and ideas, we fail to realize what we are. Such ambiguity is only exacerbated by the alternate consideration that most of the time, we don’t even know what we aren’t.
Without knowing what we are or what we aren’t, we are instead told what we should be – regardless of our doubts. We are told we belong to a country. To a religion. To an idea. We are raised with a name, a tradition, a very identity which embodies us. Our actions reflect it, our thoughts surround it.
Then we are told to focus on things, and soon those things become all we try to be. From careers to certain achievements, we become the doctors, the Nobel laureates, and the everything we always dreamed of being. Even if we fail in that pursuit, we become the shadow of success outlining that focus. As it goes, in the pursuit of becoming something, we only have the choice of becoming just that, whether through success or failure.
But here I am to tell you, dear reader, that we are something else entirely.
We are not a nationality.
We are not a cause.
We are not a reason.
We are not a profession.
We are not an ideal.
We are not a focus.
We are not a success.
We are not a failure.
Instead, what we are, and what we always will be, are flesh and bones. We, I, you, are humans.
And yet, I hear all too often the talk of separation, division, and difference, especially in today’s climate.
With the death of Gaddafi, and the consequent celebration that went on, I was told of the great change that will come. Amidst the cheers, there were voices crying out what an imminent success this was for the country of Libya. One went so far to say, “My people – my people – do you have any idea what this means for my people?”
I didn’t have an answer at the time, but I did understand. This is because it meant the same thing for all of us, no matter what I decide to, or what someone else chooses to, call me.
Sure, I have never experienced the injustices that characterized the Libyan rule. Nor have I ever yearned for freedom and equality as those rights were granted to me since birth. But I am human, and so is that voice. In the end, that is all that we are.
And while I may just be another lamentable voice yakking away about things I know nothing about, I feel inclined to accept my vulnerability, and thereby let go of my nationality, my whole sense of self, and everything I’ve been told to become, in the hope for something greater than myself: humanity.
If the struggle and consequent uprisings have taught us anything at all, it is that an individual, an idea, and an entire institution are mortal. Anything we construct fades. It dies. It shifts. It changes. But humanity, the moving force that sums up the history of an entire species, continues forever. It is because of this that such an uprising took place in the first place.
For only through numbers is there power. Only through humanity is there change. Only through each other is there peace. Together, we create the world we wish to live in.
So to answer the call, “my people – my people – do you have any idea what this means for my people”, I would like to say, “Do you, my human?”