By Jayne Warrilow
I’ve been giving some thought recently to becoming human, and what it means to me. It’s an interesting notion and one that keeps rearing its head in these interesting times that we all living through.
I find myself having conversations with leaders and coaches, amongst others, where we agree that this global pause moment the world is experiencing right now, is a great time for reflection, an inflection point for change. Both leaders and coaches talk often about bringing the humanity back into business, but what does that really mean?
It’s true to say that I’m not too clear about my answer to this question, since it doesn’t seem to be anything we are really taught as we grow. It’s true to say I’ve been taught how to be a girl, how to be a student, a mother, how to be a consultant and coach, how to be English even, and since my immigration to the United States, how to be an American, but have I ever been taught how to be human?
I don’t think so.
The question arises - do I even know what it means?
It seems to me that my humanity has somehow been lost in the complexity of other identities which I embraced from a very early age and was educated into as I grew. The labels I was given by others and the ones I claimed for myself. Things I knew as true for me and the things I wanted to be, the things I worked for, and other things bestowed upon me by others. I integrated them into my energy system and held them at an identity level, but I don’t ever remember considering the label of human. Isn’t that interesting?
Of course at one level I know it is my species, but do I ever think of myself in this way? I guess my answer would be, “not really”, which might seem surprising given that I have worked globally now for over two decades. And I wonder, what would it mean if I did? How might my perspective of myself and my relationship to others, to life itself, change? Surely our humanity is our fundamental nature which makes me curious about why it’s a label rarely used…
I wonder how it might change my perceptions of myself and interestingly how would it might change my perception of you?
I have a sense it would resonate for me at a primal level and “you” and “I” would become “we”. Becoming human seems to offer me something of a promise, a hope of connection at a deeper, more congruent level, and maybe a bridge to the practical reality that reminds us we are truly all interconnected in this web of life. It gives us the opportunity to look beyond surface level, geographic, and cultural differences to find the similarities that emerge when we journey beyond boundaries and borders to come together as one human race.
I wonder if without this identity we can ever hope to unite together as one global race, if we negate that which connects us at a primal level? If we stay fragmented and separate. We are all human - aren’t we?
I am noticing that I am raising more questions than I am answering here - which may not be a bad thing. It tells me I am at my learning edge about to explore farther than I have ever ventured before. I sense this is not related to my knowledge but to our collective wisdom. I am beginning an enquiry to which there are no short answers, and I am intrigued by the fact that I sense intuitively I need to become human if I am to become anything meaningful in this world. Funny really, given the work I do that I don’t identify with it fully just yet. How about you? What is your experience of becoming human?
I’m adopting this as my enquiry for now, I’ll let you know how the path unfolds...