What Makes Us Human?

What Makes Us Human?

By now, I’m sure you’re well aware of the incident that took place in Brussels. I can’t help but feel heartbroken. My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this tragedy. Not long ago, a similar situation occurred in Ankara, Jakarta and Paris and I understand that in some parts of the world, people are fighting for their lives every single day due to acts of war, violence and terrorism.

Here I was thinking this would be something we’d read in history books but the reality is, it’s happening in this day and age. There are always two sides to a story and we only know what’s been told to us in the news. I can’t say that I have a deep understanding of what’s going on and I find myself questioning why?

I strongly believe that it all boils down to humanity. I get that nothing is perfect. The world isn’t perfect. We, as humans especially are imperfect. I’m not suggesting that we strive for perfection but the least we can do is to strive for humanity. What does it mean to be humane? How do we achieve that?


We could start by learning to respect one another. View someone as an equal instead of beneath you, regardless of status. Every person possesses a good quality/trait and certainly has something good to offer. Learn to value that and treat each other with respect.

Embrace each other’s differences instead of allowing them to separate us. We all come from different backgrounds, which make us all unique individuals. Instead of viewing that as a negative thing, change your perception and think of how you can learn and what you can gain from each other’s strengths.

It goes without saying that we all have different views, opinions and beliefs. I admire those who are very sure of who they are and what they believe in but it’s also important to be open and understanding. As much as you are unshaken, others are the same. They may not appreciate you imposing your ideas and beliefs on them. Learn to acknowledge that and agree to disagree.

Like most people, I will never be able to comprehend how a person would want to cause harm to another human being. How does one even sleep at night? But I do believe that it’s all in the mind that would trigger such actions. Therefore, we need to cultivate love and kindness in society and ourselves.

And above all, I pray for peace in the world.


photos by Jon Teo

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