What It Means To Be A Human

Written December 2014

What it means to be human.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what a blessing it is to be a human on this earth. The odds of being any other creature are pretty high. But you are reading this, meaning you are lucky enough to be a person (and probably an awesome one). I’m not sure anyone really knows what it means to be human, but these are my ideas.

Being human means understanding the beauty rooted deep in all places of this earth. It means being aware that you are just a visitor, and that you should respect the rest of whom and what you share this space with.

Being human means being intelligent enough to adapt to what’s around you. This ability is in you. Use it.

Being human means finding connections with other humans.

Being human means appreciating every type of environment. From soil to sand to dirt to gravel and all the way to hardwood and tile floors. Whether we are under a tree or a roof, we can’t ever forget where we started and how we got to where we are.

Being human means respecting each other and those we share the earth with. In Costa Rica, the love and respect that people have for nature is contagious. They recognize that we share this land, not just with other people, but with trees and sloths and snakes and spiders, and all in between. Being human should mean being humble, and not crowning ourselves entitled.

Being human means having the capacity to try new things, paired with the ability to decide whether we like it or not.

Being human means consuming so much knowledge at a rate where we should always want more.

Being human means taking advantage of our ability to travel the world and do all of the above. As people, we have this power to inspire and move and change and share and love and teach and create. With so much power, it’s easy to waste. Don’t.

Being human means knowing that every beginning has an end. But if there is sincerity in between, I hope I never regret it. At one point, every thing we had and every one we had meant something to each other, and in this life, that’s all we really seem to be looking for.

Undress the Stress: Days 3-14

WELLLL I’m sure no one is surprised that I’ve bailed on this daily stress log that I promised to devote myself to, BUT this time I think my excuse is somewhat acceptable (but not for the entirety of the 11 days I missed).  Hurricane Sandy took away my power (literally) and I haven’t had a chance to blog at all.

I think I’m going to attempt writing a list right now of all the stresses I can remember from the last 11 days.  This alone will probably stress me out.

  • Study abroad deadlines.  Still waiting on paperwork and e-mails back from several people and I’m just growing impatient because I’ve been asking/calling/e-mailing/following up on this for WEEKS now.  It’s very inconvenient and stressful to meet deadlines when I’m not getting the information that I need.  Every time this comes up I just remind myself that there’s nothing I can do about it except continue to (or try to) be patient.
  • Relationship stress.  I guess I could potentially be over-analyzing, but I can’t help how I feel.  Long distance relationships are HARD and I’ve found that the further the distance, the harder it is, and all the more work is required.
  • 15-page midterm.  Because a hurricane just hit, I had no electricity or heat for five days, I have a life, five other classes, and not enough time to write this many pages about pop culture and Jean Baudrillard.
  • Hurricane Sandy.  Why does she think she can just barge into our lives, take our power away, flood our streets, knock our trees down and rain on our parade?  How rude.  Because of Sandy, I was stuck indoors for too many hours.  The majority of my town lost power for days (I think some areas still don’t have it restored), the temperature in my house was colder than it was outside, and a lot of my schoolwork couldn’t be done without Internet.  And to top that all off, my room at school had some water damage/leakage/flooding but thankfully a friend did what he could to reduce it.  It has been a highly unusual stressful week for me, but it was not as bad as it could have been.  My thoughts are with those who lost more than Internet access.
  • Despite all this Sandy devastation, I still celebrated Halloween (Chipotle’s $2 Boorrito Fundraiser anyone?), found that good people still exist, and got to spend quality time with family (in candlelight and surrounded by snacks that we felt obligated to eat…).


(That last picture was taken in front of a very generous person’s home.  A surge protector and a sign that read “Please charge your phones and computers here!”  Good people are out there.)

Lots of wonderful things happened in the last 11 days too!  More to come about that.  Lots of blogs to write!

Writing these stress blogs is such a great relief.  Instant recommendation for anyone who has any type of stress.  Which is everyone.