Humanize. To humanize something. Anything. What does it mean? 

If your answer is ‘to humanize something is to make it human’, then there is another question: what does it mean to be human?

To understand what something IS NOT can add clarity to what something is, its value or deeper meaning. 

Is a human a machine?

Is a human an animal?

Is a human a condition?

Curious people ask questions. A question is different from a statement. A question is different from an accusation. A question is different from a complaint. A question is not ammunition used in social play to dominate someone by shutting them up. A true question is asked in a curious way, curious about an answer. 

Are you a machine? Are you an animal? Are you a condition?

You are something more. 

My easy answer in a school setting relates to the nervous system. We share a survival intelligence with animals. Animalistic tendencies to protect and survive. Instincts to fight, flight, freeze, faint. Animals have thick fur, sharp fangs, claws, strength, speed, etc. Humans have a frontal lobe. Humans problem solve. Humans create solutions.

Humans are storytellers. Humans retain information. Information is useful for progress. Humans progress. Humans evolve. Memory and emotions support survival and progress. Humans focus. 

Focusing on survival can feel limiting in an advanced setting such as 2020. Focusing on progress can feel life giving and purposeful.

You get to choose. Self-care is caring about yourself enough to notice the story you tell. You may be able to substantiate the story you tell and understand your ‘why’. But then what? Does the story you tell about ‘why’ lead to something more? Does the story you tell lead to stagnation, or does the story you tell allow for growth and possibility?

When you can be curious and ask genuine questions it feels human. Feeling connected to a sense of possibility may humanize you. It may connect you to your own sense of a greater play in humanity. To humanize yourself is to humanize others. Others may no longer seem abstract and inhumane – puppets, numbers. Hearts beat, eyes shine, dreams align. As we humanize our own self, we may feel more connected to a collective aliveness. More than pawns in a game to be manipulated to win. What is it you want to win? Is there only so much? So much of what?

Almost December.