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Sample essay topic, essay writing: What It Means To Be Human - 1912 words
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Cogito Ergo Sum(I Think Therefore I Am)Kristin Patton"The common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights - for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture - is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition of all other personal rights is not defended with maximum determination." -- Pope John Paul II What does it mean to be human? Sure, one must have the usual physical features such as fingers, eyes, arms, hands, feet, etc., but what does it really mean? Must the human be able to speak? To take upon the actions of themselves? Whatever it means, it can be interpreted in any way from anyone. The physical attributes of any human can be compared to those of our evolutionary ancestors. However, it is possible to believe that there are many characteristics that make a human, but only six define the true, ideal human. First, one must have the five senses; taste, smell, hear, see, and feel. Yes, these are physical aspects, however, these senses are what any human needs to be, human.
For example, the human body needs to be able to taste. It must ingest food, and the food must appeal to a decent taste. A human must also be able to smell, so one may smell a poisonous gas, delicious food, or any other stench that may linger in the air. To be able to hear, enables the human to hear danger or a noise that appeals to them. When seeing, danger is also noted as well as the care of others
When one feels, the object that is being felt may make the person feel comfortable. Not only the sense of touching, but feelings. Second, a human must be able to love. Without love, there is no suffering. Love does not have to mean sexually, it can mean a mutual bond between friends, family, and for oneself. In William Shakespeare's Othello, Othello's love for Desdemona is a strong, passionate love as is Desdemona towards Othello.
Desdemona says:That I did love the Moor to live with him,My downright violence and storm of fortunesMay trumpet to the world. My heart's subdued Even to the very quality of my lord. I saw Othello's visage in his mind,And to his honors and his valiant parts Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate. So that, dear lords, if I be left behindA moth of peace and he go to the war,The rites for which I love him are bereft me, And I a heavy interim shall supportBy his dear absence. Let me go with him.
( 1.3. 248-259). Now, in John Gunther's novel, Death Be Not Proud, this type of love is family based. Johnny's love is strong and death will not tear his family apart. " Nobody else was in the room, and Johnny looked straight at him.
'Do my parents know this? How shall we break it to them?' Then, some months later, when he seemed to be getting better, he felt the edge of bone next to the flap in the skull wound, and looked questioningly and happily at the doctor-- a different doctor-- then attending him. The doctor was pleased because the bone appeared to be growing back, but with a crying lack of tact he told Johnny, 'Oh, yes.. it's growing.. but in the wrong direction, the wrong way.' Johnny controlled himself and said nothing until the doctor left the room. His face had gone white and he was sick with sudden worry and harsh disappointment. Then he murmured to me, 'Better not tell Mother it's growing wrong.'" (Gunther 5).
Regardless of Johnny's illness, Johnny manages to love his family and enjoy life as much as possible. Third, a human must be able to have, and cope with emotion. In George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, Professor Higgins is a very emotional man. "' Damn Mrs. Pearce; and damn the coffee; and damn you; and damn my own folly in having lavished hard-earned knowledge and the treasure of my regard and intimacy on a heartless guttersnipe.'" (Shaw 435).
Here, one may notice that he is jealous. Jealousy is a strict emotion that should not be played with, regardless the circumstances. Emotion does not mean sadness, anger, happiness and the like, but the internal description of each. For example, jealousy may fall into the "anger" part of emotion. Fourth, one must have faith.
However, the term faith does not mean that one must belong to a religion, but by having faith, is believing. When one believes, he or she accomplish something that was out of reach, a sense of determination. This excerpt from Sophocles' Antigone, shows the determination of a woman to do what she believes is right by burying her brother. " Antigone 'I will not press you any more. I would/ Not want you as a partner if you asked./ Go to what you please.
I go to bury him./ How sweet to die in such pursuit! to rest/ Loved by him whom I have loved,/ Sinner of a holy sin, with longer time/ To charm the dead than those who live. For I/ Shall abide forever there./ So go/ And please you fantasy and call/ It wicked what the gods call good.' Ismene 'You know I don't do that. I'm just too weak/ To war against the state.' Antigone 'Make your apologies! I go/ To raise a tomb above my dearest brother.' Ismene 'Poor girl! And now you frighten me.' Antigone 'Don't fear for me. Be anxious for yourself.' Ismene 'At least tell no one what you do, but keep/ It dark, and I shall keep it secret too.' Antigone 'Oh tell it, tell it, shout it out! I'll hate/ Your silence more than if you told the world.' Ismene 'So fiery! In a business that chills?' Antigone 'Perhaps. But I am doing what I must.' Ismene 'Yes, more than must.
And you are doomed/ to fail.'" (Sophocles 167). Antigone believes that what she is doing is right, and not even her sister can stop her. Fifth, a human must have dreams and aspirations. Huckleberry Finn had dreams. His dream was to become an adventurer and be with his good friend, Tom Sawyer.
"We went to a clump of bushes, and Tom made everybody swear to keep the secret, and then showed them a hole in the hill, right in the thickest part of the bushes. Then we lit the candles and crawled in on our hands and knees. We went about two hundred yards, and then the cave opened up. Tom poked about amongst the passages and pretty soon ducked under a wall where you wouldn't a notice that there was a hole. We went along a narrow place and got into a kind of room, all damp and sweaty and cold, and there we stopped.
Tom says; 'Now we'll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyers Gang. Everybody that wants to join has to take an oath, and write his name in blood.'" (Twain 8). Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion has a dream to become a high-class lady. Professor Higgins is the man who helps her achieve those dreams. "' I want to be a lady in a flower shop 'stead of selling at the corner of Tottenham Court Road. But they won't take me unless I can talk more genteel.
He said he could teach me. Well, here I am ready to pay him- not asking any favor- and he treats me as if I was dirt.'" (Shaw 384). Sixth, one must be able to make mistakes and admit when wrong; that nobody is perfect. Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, is a great example of admitting mistakes. "' It means,' answered Jean Valjean, 'that I have been in the galleys.' 'You drive me mad!' exclaimed Marius in dismay.
'Monsieur Pontmercy,' said Jean Valjean, ' I was nineteen years in the galleys. For robbery. Then I was sentenced for life. For robbery. For a second offense.
At this hour I am in breach of ban.'" (Hugo 290-91). Jean Valjean admits to Marius that his actions were indeed wrong. "'You ask why I speak? I am neither informed against, nor pursued, nor hunted, say you. Yes! I am informed against! yes! I am pursued! yes! I am hunted? By whom? by myself. It its I myself who bar the way before myself, and I drag myself, and I urge myself, and I check myself and I exert myself, and when one holds himself he is well hold.' And, with a bitter emphasis, he added: 'Monsieur Pontmercy, this is not common sense, but I am an honest man.
It is by degrading myself in your eyes that I elevate myself in my own. This has already happened to me once, but it was less grievous then; it was nothing. Yes, an honest man. I should not be one if you had, by my fault, continued to esteem me; now that you despise me, I am one. I am a galley slave who obeys his conscience.
I know well that is improbable. But what would you have me do? it is so. I have assumed engagements towards myself; I keep them. There are accidents which bind us, there are chances which drag us into duties. You see, Monsieur Pontmercy, some things have happened to me in my life?' He breathed with difficulty, and forced out these final words: ' To live, once I stole a loaf of bread; today, to live, I will not steal a name.'" To admit his mistakes, makes him a true human.
Jean Valjean lived a life of crime, but in the end he admitted his faults, which is hard to do. Many humans will not admit their own faults, regardless if it harms them or another person. In conclusion, to be a human, one must have the five senses, love, emotion, faith, dreams and aspirations, and admit when mistakes are made. The novels and plays that have been used are examples of human nature. All humans die, but they will always live.
All humans vary in shape and size. They do not share the same brain, nor the same heart. It takes many things to be a human, but modern people all share the qualities that have been presented and discussed. Admitting to one's mistakes is crucial and earns trust throughout mankind. Dreams are never out of reach if you just keep trying.
Faith comes in many forms, the strongest being religion. Many types of emotion can make the person. Love is the most strongest characteristic one can have. When one loves, he or she is loved. "Love is patient, Love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, It is not proud, It is not rude, It is not self-seeking, It is not easily angered, It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. Love Never Fails." ( Holy Bible Corinthians 13:4 - 8).
As for the five senses, they are the physical characteristic of all humans. Humans are natural and pure in their own unique way.
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