Human for the Holidays
Although it's sometimes difficult to accept, but if you're reading this, you're probably a human.
I haven't been keeping up with my blog writing, and even the last series was a bit of a weak effort. In my defense, I've been busy. I needed to make work, home, and sanity my top priorities. As a head of school, I find it difficult to read books during the course the school year. Lending support to students, faculty, staff, and families—including my own—leaves little brain power at the end of each day. Reading just puts me to sleep. I use my vacation time to dive into pages.
I spent this holiday break reading Rutger Bregman's Humankind and as many hours trying to keep our new puppy, Pippa, from destroying the house or making sure her older sibling, Riley, didn't eat her. You'll have to read the book or get a puppy to glean your own take on humanity, but for me, my perspective has shifted. I have always been a bit in the "humans are an invasive species" or "intellect is a lethal mutation" kind of guy, but Bregman's book and a little mutt have made it clear that we just haven't evolved to be as well-behaved as our potential. With 95% of our human existence as hunter-gatherers, we really haven't put in enough time and effort into becoming a highly functional society. We're still biting things we shouldn't and chasing our own tails.
If you're reading this, then you're a human. You're flawed and when faced with an adversary that makes your stomach churn, you likely dehumanize them. You call them all kinds of names—some quite nasty—but I'm guessing "human" isn't one of them. We're more alike than we'd like to think, and it's difficult to face our own shortcomings and blame others. I'm not saying we have to agree with what everyone says or be best friends with someone who's words or actions call for our demise. I simply believe that we can become better humans by treating each other like humans, through observation, dialogue, play, and reflection. Labeling is easy. Humanizing is hard.
Markus Hunt is an educator, writer, speaker, and musician. He currently lives in Aurora, Colorado.