The Need for Real. Live. Human. BeingsPosted on August 16th, 2011
Photo by Gwen Harlow. Creative Commons
We are experiencing a dire shortage these days. Not just of oil. Or water. Or food.
We have a shortage of humans.
You wouldn’t think in a world of almost seven billion people we’d have such a problem. But call this Terminator Five. The machines are taking over.
And I’m not talking about the machines putting together our cars, our planes, our computers — no I’m talking about us.
We’ve lost the art of being human.
Lack of Real Human Beings
What do I mean? Well, many of us have forgotten, well, how to be us. We’ve lost how to actually be a face behind the name. To be more than a piece of paper. A status update. A picture. A Tweet. A LOL.We hide behind screens and phones, interacting with each other in ways that require less need for us to really be us.
We apply for jobs as a list of bullet points.
We appeal for support with a mass email. Proud that we addressed it Dear ____.
We say happy birthday with a click of a button.
We put our name on books we never wrote. A “ghost” lurking in the corners concealing the real talent.
We make decisions based on polls and lobbyists instead of what feels right. In our gut. If we even have one.
We buy our groceries without ever making eye contact with the person scanning our Frosted Mini-Wheats. The cashier just an extension of the checkout aisle.
We drape ourselves in routine, forgetting that feeling of new-ness.
We say things that we think should be said instead of saying what we know is right.
We sit for hours in front of a screen. Pouring our heart out like this. Someone we’ll never meet knowing more about us then our wife. Than our husband. Our kids. Our parents.
Authenticity has become the new buzz word. But with our auto-drive, auto-text, auto-tweet, auto-think, auto-write, authenticity has been replaced with Auto-thencity — an automated version of us that’s not really us.
Three Key Places to be Human
1. Job Search
It is those who shake a hand and look into eyes, who will win the job. A piece of paper is easy to turn down. A person with a smile and a laugh and a story is much harder. Humans want to help humans. Humans love reaching out a hand to pick up another. When looking for a job, somehow, someway become a human to the human on the other side. No matter how “green” we get, humans will always crumble up paper before a person.
Marriage can’t just be a oiled machine of routine. It can’t be placed on auto-pilot. You’ll crash. I say this more to myself than anyone else. I forget far too easily that my wife trumps other deadlines, dreams, and desires. Every night that my computer takes precedent over her thoughts and touch is a night that I have screwed up.
Having an affair with a Word document is not how I want my wife and kids to remember me.
Turn off auto-pilot Paul. Put your hands back on the wheel. Fly the plane you swore you would fly.
If I call a friend back within a weeks time, I consider that doing a pretty good job. Two weeks – two months is most likely the norm. Sure life is busy. Too freaking busy. But too busy for friends? Too busy to make a phone call? What five minutes? Five minutes to connect with a person I swore I would never lose contact with? Sounds easy. So why have I resorted to texts and Facebook? A wall is no place to make friends.
The Impact of Humanity
It is the Real, Live, Humans who will inherit the earth. It is those who actually have a personality, emotions, and a story worth telling that they know how to tell, who will rise above the drab of the impersonal.
It is those who call out to others in a real voice by their real name.
Because humans desire interaction with real humans. Humans desire for the taste of real relationships not contrived on cliches. Humans desire for those special people who can call out the person inside of them.
Humans yearn for the feeling of shared aliveness.
This is a cry for us to come alive. By God, I hope I answer the call…
What do you think?