Reflections on Being Human

(Originally Posted on the Geek Girl Mommie blog)

The post for tonight was supposed to be what being a newbie at the NTEN 2013 Technology Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota was like.

And then Boston happened and my focus for the day shifted.

I often say that Humans are amazing creatures. We are capable of so much beauty, grace and joy. We experience the world in ways that no other creatures on this earth can. And if our world is not exciting, fulfilling or fun enough we have the ability to change it all. To add more and do more. TO BE MORE. In all these ways we are wonderful reflections of possibility and hope.

But the opposite is also true. We have the ability to think so much of ourselves that the joy and grace of others can look useless and wrong simply because they aren’t the same as us. We can believe that our views are the only ones that are right. So much so that we feel it’s our right and duty to deny other living beings joy, love and freedom because they don’t share the same views and values. We can destroy over faith and passion, and kill in despair and loneliness. We give symbols power and offer people control and then can be made to feel helpless by both to the point that some of us feel we must take drastic measures to be heard. And in all these ways we are flawed and damaged. In all these ways WE ARE WRONG.

In the wake of what happened today I found myself contemplating Little Lass and the role I have as her mother. I’ve contemplated my and FlyBoys expectations of her, wondering if maybe we’re already projecting on her some sort of pressure to be a certain way. And I’m not wrong, we do have things we expect of her but they boil down to this:

I expect that, when all is said and done and she is out on her own, we will have given to the world a person who is a better version of either of us. Who is tolerant and kind. Who knows that her way is not the only way and that others with different ways are not automatically wrong and are deserving of respect. A person who will take chances when it’s needed, and will understand that even in the smallest way she changes the world every day by simply being her. In short, to be a decent human being.

Somewhere out there are very small, sad people who probably somehow feel they have made a very big statement. They haven’t of course because the statement is lost in the tragedy and the pain they have created. They have overshadowed themselves. Unless they intended their statement to be that we must do a better job of being the only thing that is and ever will be expected of any one of us.

Be better than we were yesterday, and be better tomorrow than we are today.

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