essay: essence of humanity


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i wrote this for skool. i really enjoyed writing it and thought you peoples might enjoy it.

The Essence of Humanity


            Have the essential qualities of being human changed over the span of their existence? Are humans still the same way they were one million years ago, still battling with the same insecurities and fears that their ancient ancestors dealt with? The answer is a resounding yes. Obviously, their ancestors did not have anything like the technology there is now, but if one thinks metaphorically, the answer becomes astoundingly clear. Humans are still wired the same way as their ancestors, with primitive sexual urges, a need to communicate and govern themselves, and the never-ending quest to find better ways to do things. Human natures have not changed.

            If one takes a look at certain aspects of human civilization over time, there are more similarities than differences. The trick is to think metaphorically. For example, there have always been cities. Before skyscrapers, before The Gap and the twenty-five Starbucks on every street, there were cities. If not cities like we would think of today, there have always been communities. Humans have a universal need to govern themselves. They are very much social animals, and have usually lived in groups throughout time. Whether its the subdivision one lives in, in 2002 or the cave one dwells in, in 30,000 B.C., humans have always had the need to live amongst other humans.

            Another way human nature has not changed over time is the constant pondering of existence. Humans have always been trying to explain their existence, be it through science or religion. Even primitive, pre-homo sapien Neanderthals are thought to have believed in an afterlife, judging from burial sites bearing signs of rituals. Todays devout Buddhist who prays to Buddha and reads the Pali Canon, Charles Darwin, who proposed the idea of evolution, and the ancient Greeks who believed the gods controlled everything from the weather to wars, are all alike in that they are seeking to explain how they got here and why. Humans have a complex to validate their existence. Some humans explore religion to explain their existence, and adopt a code of morals or standards to follow. Examples of this are the Ten Commandments and Hammurabis Code. Other species of animals do not have a code of ethics, and the concept of morals is very much human.

            Humans have always looked upon sexual intercourse as much more than a tool for procreation, but it is and has always been a major factor in the survival of the species. The fact that humans are one of only two species to have sex for pleasure leads one to believe that the experience and emotions attached to sex are uniquely human. Unlike other animals, humans choose their sexual partners based on love and feelings. Humans also choose not to be sexually active, which is extremely rare in other species.

            Humans are a confusing and diverse species.  They are the most highly evolved species on Earth. Beautiful in so many ways, yet dreadfully ugly in others. Being human is an experience in itself, an experience in which the basic qualities have not changed since the first Cro-Magnon man walked on the earth. They will continue to be the same essential qualities until the end of time- the very essence of humanity.


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