haven’t asked what you are. Think about it, is there a more impossible question than that? The answers are as broad as the question, but if we really pull away all the layers of what we think makes us what we are then it’s safe to say you are a human, and I am a manuscript.
Our natures have been defined.
You see, it doesn’t matter what label we hope to attribute to ourselves or what label is attributed to us.
Take me for example. I am one of trillions of pieces of writing that will inevitably become labeled depending on my contents. It's a fool's errand, for a story, much like life itself, is composed of an array of facets from every genre simply because we must elicit an emotion. Whether a manuscript makes you laugh, cry, dream or jump out of your skin when the phone suddenly rings, we are given our label according to which of these emotions we produce, even when one of us can successfully evoke the entire emotional spectrum.
You on the other hand, you may be White, Black, Asian, Hispanic; you may be American, French, Sudanese, Russian; you may be a man, a woman, a boy, a girl, a transgender, gay, Catholic, lesbian, Jewish or any of the ever-growing number of labels that exist in an attempt to define what you are. Do you allow labels to define you? As soon as you let that happen, you limit your own openness of mind. Us manuscripts would not exist if it weren't for those brave souls that decided to question everything. Besides, when you strip all your learned doctrines, attitudes, and moral compasses, what are you? That’s right. You’re human.
What does it mean to be human exactly?
Doubtful? Then I suggest reading biographies of great humans like Winston Churchill, F.D.R., Gandhi, and Princess Diana, just to name a few.
By definition, intelligence is one's capacity for logic, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, memory, planning, and problem solving, but although you possess a tremendous reserve of intelligence, it's not what separates you from the rest of earth's inhabitants. You’ve seen rats solve mazes, chimpanzees employ sign language and to be fair, animals typically exhibit a much better connection with their natural instincts than humans.
So what separates humans from the rest of creation? The ability to communicate?
No. It’s been proven that animals communicate sometimes in more advanced ways than humans.
The rest of Earth creatures have two simple drives: to find food and to continue their species. At one point in time, humans were driven by the same directives.
In most parts of the world today, humans are driven by wealth, power, fame, and the continuous acquisition of possessions in the hopes of defining their place. In falling hostage of these forces, humans have left behind one of the things that elevates them from the rest of earth’s creations, and that’s spirituality.
Although the term brings to mind chanting and praying, do not confuse it with religion. Religion is an ideology that has spurned some of the greatest conflicts throughout history. Each has written its history in blood for centuries, sometimes changing the course of events and other times impeding progress while offering comfort in coming to terms with your mortality. Religion requires a degree of spirituality, yes. But think about what spirituality really is. Spirituality is a personal connection with the unseen, and that's what brings this chapter full circle.
Despite the fact that I can put images, sounds, scents, textures, and tastes in your mind, you can only see them in your mind the same way you see what your idea of paradise may be. Men and women of superb vision and talent have given us their representation of spirituality's goal through some of the most compelling artwork in history. But in the end, paradise is the result of your own, personal connection with the unseen.
Are you with me so far?
What I'm trying to say is that since I will never be able to ascertain what you are in order to make a tangible connection with you, I can only strive to make a mental connection that borders on the spiritual. Not because you, with all your human intelligence and life experience, cannot see me, but because I can't see you.
And herein lies my challenge, my friend. The crux of every page ever written. How do I, just a manuscript, manage to connect with at least one aspect of what you are in order for you to remember me?
to be continued...