Day 1108: Human

I’m a


who has written over a thousand blog posts about being


Right now, I’m going to check how many times I’ve used the word


over the last three years in a blog post title.

I am having some very


reactions and feelings, because this is the first time “human” has made it to a post title. I would have sworn that I’d written a post titled “We’re Human Beings, Not Human Doings. ”

Well, there’s  no time like the present to write a human post.


I’m now wondering what the word


means to you.  If  you had to choose three words to define


what would they be?

The first three words that occur to me are




Are those good enough synonyms for the word


in your mind? Do those three words capture, at all,  what makes us human?

I’m guessing that my readers will do a much better job picking three “human” words. After all, I’m only human.

Do any of the other pictures I quickly snapped yesterday help us define “human”?











It’s only human that I’m curious about what you think, feel, and choose to express.

Human thanks to all the humans who helped me create this all-too-human post and to you — of course! — for bringing your humanity here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

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53 thoughts on “Day 1108: Human

  1. Looks like you have done all that is humanly possible to bring some humanity into this post! Great post, loved the read!!

  2. To be human is to be kind- and to remember we are not infallible.

  3. Hi Ann. Great topic.
    I agree with imperfect and complicated. I wouldn’t mention mortal though as a specifically human trait because EVERYTHING is mortal. Here are my three:
    Unnatural, morbid hyper-creation.

  4. I could spend a lifetime trying to capture what being human means….and couldn’t do it as well as this. 🙂

  5. love
    those are my human words Ann. ❤
    Diana xo

  6. No matter how often you use the word, Ann, what you have created here is a reflection of what it means to be human, in all its wonderful randomness ! ❤️

  7. Language is a very human thing and yet I can’t think of a single word, let alone three, that encompass all that “human” means to me. I’m often awestruck by the diversity of life on this little planet, and yet when I look closely at any other living thing what really strikes me is how much we have in common.

  8. Humans have a never ending curiosity about their universe and are not just mortal but self-aware of their own mortality. I think other primates are impressive but don’t have that distinction. Plus opposable thumbs that allow us to text. So there’s that too. 🙊

    • Jill! I appreciate your curiosity, self-awareness, and the opposable thumbs that allowed you to create and send this distinctive comment.

  9. Always a very human blog, even if it’s not been stated so explicitly until today!
    My three words to define “human” today as I consider it are these:

    Loving kindness


    Impermanence: Because being human is a most favored state implying attaining good enough karma to make it here, and yet wanton cruelty or extreme ill being in any form has the power to bust anyone down to a lesser state that may take many lifetimes to transcend. This life is a very temporary state as are our human bodies and those of our beloved family and our cherished pets. We are born, we live, we age if we’re lucky, probably get sick and eventually die. All of us.

    Emptiness: Nothing material is any more real than thoughts, ideas, beliefs, fantasies and myths. I saw a rainbow the other day when I was meditating while looking out the window. It reminded me of a photo of a rainbow I took a couple of years ago. In that moment I realized that the actual rainbow is no more or less real than my photo, or my memory of the other rainbow or my memory of the photo I took. I could savor it right now, and in emptiness, the savoring was as real as anything else I experience in the impermanent, empty experience we humans call life.

    Loving kindness (Metta): It is through practicing loving kindness, or the Metta Sutta, the Buddhist scripture that exhorts us to cherish all living beings and not do the slightest thing the wise would later reprove, that in each moment, every present moment, we can be real and kind and live our highest values. Do it for the other, not for ourselves, and yet gain the blessings of good karma

    More than 3 words, Ann. And probably too serious for the blog, but these are my thoughts for you!

  10. Empathetic

  11. The three words I’d pick would be:




    I apologize for sounding so negative, but I have the same opinion as philosopher Nietzsche:

    “Man is something that shall be overcome. Man is a rope,tied between beast and overman – a rope over an abyss. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end.”- Nietzsche

    Well, even Nietzsche is more positive than me.

    • Thanks for the great bridge of this comment, Maria.

      • Now that’s funny Ann, you caught the essence of Nietzsche in Zarathustra, that humans could still evolve 😏, even though he was pretty severe as a philosopher.

      • I just reflected back what you said, Maria, from one human to another.

      • Ann, were the answers to these questions meant to reflect one’s self-esteem? If I see humans as imperfect or self-defeating; isn’t that how I ultimately see myself? It becomes like a ‘projection’ exercise.

      • Humans tend to project how they see themselves onto other people, Maria.

      • Did I reveal that I may be negative by stating those 3 human qualities?

      • Some humans would see it that way. Ultimately, you are the expert on your own experience.

      • Yes, since it was more philosophical, I gave out the 3 words, but afterwards I thought that it could be interpreted as a projection of myself. So, I’m changing it now. Humans can be:


      • Thank you, Maria, for this spiritual, intuitive, and harmonious comment.

  12. I really enjoyed reading your post. I liked the way you mixed images with words – very effective.

    Best wishes,


  13. My threesome is:
    Loved this post!

  14. Great post which has given me pause for thought. Straight away the first word I associate with ‘human’ is ‘thinking’. I’m not so sure of what other two I would pick but most likely words that express love and connectedness.

  15. Since humans are so many different things I think “vulnerable” is the only common denominator! Love the Mystic Taxi – does it take you where you should go and not where you might want to do?

    • I love the Mystic Cab, too, but this vulnerable human has never taken a ride in it. I’m grateful for whatever mystic force brought you here today, Jan.

  16. Limited
    Love-worthy (Is that one word or two? No matter. It’s the most important of all.)

  17. This post reminds me of a TV series – “Being Human”. It can be hard.

  18. Heart and soul

  19. My 3 words for Human:

  20. To be human is to be part of one of the wildest rides any amusement park has ever conceived.

  21. Pingback: Day 1112: Emergent Complexity | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  22. Pingback: Day 2488: Being here, being there | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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