What is it to be human?
By Anum Nawaz
What is it to be human? Is it a body that has life? Or is it the soul? Is it the daily life or the victories that mark our history? Is it religion that makes us more human or it is the environment that guides our path? Can we define ourselves objectively or, are we changing constantly and yet indefinable?
These are some of the questions that a sane person might want to ask in an insane world, or rather an insane person in a sane world. Many a times, we do not bother questioning why we do what we do. But it is important to know the significance of our actions and thoughts a like. It will not lead us to be a better person, but it will definitely lead us to a better path where our actions are defined not in terms of empty rituals but in terms of meaning and worth.
But what is it that gives meaning to our actions. The Essence. Essence is like the fragrance of a flower. Even if you crush the petals, the fragrance remains. Hence, essence remains, even if the action dies. Essence is the passion of the soul without which the soul cannot thrive on its own. We all have our own distinct essence, but it takes courage and dedication to find the light that illuminates our soul. Ever since the day we are born, our passion for life guides it, but then in the amidst of the rush hour, we lose the eternity of our soul. We lose the essence. It cries out loud to be heard, to be nourished, to be esteemed. But the insanity drives the essence away and we sway like a dead leaf, guided by the direction of the wind alone. We are no freer. We are captives of time and barely alive; and our soul essentially dead. Then why do we mourn at the coffins, if not for the soul? Just for a blob of flesh?
It’s not the time that kills us. It’s our inability to keep the essence and lose our identity that kills us. It is, however, ironic, that we do not realize this and only mourn at the coffins. Ever wonder how a flower would be like without its fragrance? It will lose what it is. And that precisely is my point. You lose yourself when you lose your essence. The function of a man is to love, not just merely exist.
But how can we sustain it? How do we give meaning to our bodies? How can we keep our identity intact? It is by freeing ourselves. From the cage of our ego and pride, comes out the divinity of our souls. From the bonds of our fetish and empty esteem emerges the passion of the soul and out from the race of life, arises a path that leads to the horizon of the fragrance that lasts forever. It is in freeing ourselves that we gain the power to our essence. It only survives on the novelty of our mind. And then our actions do not remain hollow, but they echo the voice of our thoughts that make the world a better place to live in. And even when we die, the essence of our soul remains in the air that we breathe. It remains in the colors of the rainbow that forms itself from the droplets that spring the air and free the magnificence of life.
It is to live in essence, that means to be human
It is in sanctioning oneself, that means to be human
It is in surrendering to freedom, that means to be human
It is in dedication and submission to the will of freedom, that means to be human
It is in giving, that it means to be human
It is in the passion of life and death, that it means to be human
In thought and action, it is the fragrance of being human, that means to be human