How to Be Human: What Does it Mean to Be Human?

Photo by Bacila Vlad on Unsplash

We are intelligent beings

Human intelligence is one of the biggest differentiators between us and everything else that exists on this planet. Human intelligence is “mental quality that consists of the abilities to learn from experience, adapt to new situations, understand and handle abstract concepts, and use knowledge to manipulate one’s environment.” Our ability to use our brains has given us the power to beat natural selection and essentially dominate the animal kingdom.

  • Development of the pre-frontal cortex.
  • Left Brain vs. Right Brain — contrary to popular belief, everyone uses both sides of the brain.
  • Our memory — Every time a memory is called, it could be “reconsolidated,” allowing it to be strengthened, weakened, or, most importantly, altered.

We can communicate in sophisticated ways

Human communication is incredibly complex. Not only do we have the ability to speak to one another using any of the 6,500 languages, but we can also communicate non-verbally through writing or facial expression. Human communication can be more expertly defined by the following:

We are emotional beings

There is no doubt about it; we are emotional beings. Human emotion is also the hardest human characteristic to define. Scientists and philosophers can’t pin down a number as to exactly how many human emotions we have. Some say there are 4, some say 8, and others say 27.

We can design our destiny

Through the combination of human intelligence, our robust communication systems, and our emotions, we have the ability to forge our path. The rest of the animal kingdom has one purpose, to reproduce.

What does it mean to be Human?

To be human means that we have an intelligence that allows us to manipulate our environments, adapt, and grow. It means that we can communicate with others to convey our thoughts, ideas, and emotions. It means that we can feel Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, Surprise, Anticipation, Anger, and Trust. It means that you have the opportunity to forge your own path and your own destiny. To be human means you get to be unique.



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Jacob Wells

Jacob Wells


Business Professional. Writer. Athlete. Dog-Lover. Occasional Disc-Jockey. | Twitter @jacobrwells | Instagram @jacob.r.wells