“There is but one law for all, namely that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity – the law of nature and of nations.” – Edmond Burke
Mr. Burke’s quote is concise yet compelling, if only for the phrase “the law of humanity justice, equity – the law of nature and of nations.” Despite our differences, of which there are many, the vast majority of human beings knowingly abide by the laws of humanity. No matter our differences, many of us cherish the ideal notion that humans should co-exist despite our conflicting natures.
The purpose of this article is not to delve into the sociological evolution of the human race, but to remind us of values that the majority of us share. Call this collective understanding a “social contract,” “laws of humanity,” “laws of being human,” or whatever one may wish. The premise remains the same: we create our path in life with an understanding that certain rules apply to us as a species.
In this article, we present 12 laws of being human. These “laws” are what have enabled us to form alliances and defeat those who threaten our very existence.
12 Laws Of Being Human That Will Change Your Life
1. Relationships are key
It’s an evolutionary fact: human beings are social creatures. While every one of us possesses introverted, extroverted, or ambivert tendencies, we all require healthy relationships to make our way in this world.
All relationships are not created equal. We’ll love, hate/strongly dislike (it happens), accept, disavow, trust and distrust thousands of people through our lifetime. The important thing to remember is not to write people off because of someone else. We need each other.
2. Inner strength can make the difference
Miyamoto Musashi, widely considered to be the greatest samurai warrior to ever lived, once said: “There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter, Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”
Cultivating our inner strength is paramount to overcoming life’s obstacles.
3. Life is uncertain
Obstacles will present themselves – and sometimes during the most inconvenient periods of our life. We have three choices: go over, go through, or remain stagnant. Just remember that every uncertainty and obstacle is an opportunity to strengthen your character.
4. Loneliness afflicts us all
By nature, some of us will feel more alone than others; but we all experience a sense of isolation at one point (often many points) during life. Every human that’s ever lived has had to go through times of loneliness, isolation, and despair.
5. Some days are better than others
If you wake up in the morning, it’s a gift – a victory. Although that day’s events may unfold into something terrible, at least you were given the opportunity to live another one. Give thanks for that day, and hope for a better tomorrow.
6. Not everyone will like you, and vice-versa
Personalities are different; therefore, people are different; therefore, people with different personalities will butt heads. The cool thing is that there’s someone out there waiting to be discovered; someone that you’ll completely vibe with. Chances are you’ve got some in your inner circle.
7. Messing up (again and again) is assured
Anyone else think it’s hilarious that some people consider themselves perfect or nearly-perfect (see: narcissism or perfectionism). Admittedly, some of us have made egregious mistakes (including this writer). The important question to ask: did I learn something? Because you’re going to screw something up again – and have the opportunity to learn something, again.
8. Life can be downright unfair
People we trusted will break that trust; people we love will disavow that love; people will lie, manipulate, steal, and deliberately attempt to inflict hurt. That’s life. Only a small part of life, but a part of life nonetheless. We’ll grow, we’ll adapt, we’ll become stronger. Because that’s what we do.
9. We’ll experience a broken heart
Yes, that third-grade boyfriend or girlfriend that broke up with you on the playground counts (kind of). We date and have our heart broken; we marry and have our heart broken; someone passes, and we have our heart broken.
As #8 states clearly: “Life can be downright unfair.” The same applies to many wonderful people who’ve (sometimes, repeatedly) had their good heart broken for no good reason.
10. Our body and mind is ours to take care of
Despite the billions and billions of people that have ever lived, nobody has replicated your body and mind. It is important that we learn to accept and love both to live a peaceful, happy existence.
You’re special. If for no other reason that nobody like you has, or ever will, exist. Understand your individual nature and take care of yourself.
11. It’s natural to be defensive at times
…But it can result in some missed opportunities. This is particularly the case for the risk-adverse, who try to wait for “the right time and place” for just about everything. Sometimes, it’s best to “lower the shield” and give someone or something else a chance.
Perhaps most importantly: try not to carry the “excess baggage” of your past. This baggage may result in your missing out on something truly beautiful.
12. A passion is ours to do something with
Okay, so maybe our childhood dream of becoming an astronaut didn’t quite pan out. But we believe that within each one of us is a passion waiting to be put to use in some way.
It doesn’t matter your age, education, income, or anything else. If you have a deeply-ingrained passion – no matter how elusive it may be – grab hold and make something of it.