What makes us truly human?

How do we differ from the other kingdoms of nature, the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms? What makes us truly human? We differ from the mineral and plant kingdom in that we are able to move around and from the animal kingdom in our uprightness and speech. Our uprightness enables a certain amount of freedom from gravity as only our
feet are firmly planted on the earth. Our hands are freed from the effects of gravity and with them we are able to do, make and give to ourselves and others.

So it is really in our hands that we are truly human. We do however require the faculty of imagination to give direction to and provide the picture or visual image of all that we can accomplish with our hands. All of our human
accomplishments existed first as an idea. It is this understanding of man as a creative being that we strive to plant in the children’s minds when we study the animal kingdom in greater detail in class four. Whatever we can imagine we can manifest in our world. We teach that as human beings we are the most highly evolved of the four kingdoms of nature. We not only have our ability to think and create but also the ability to craft those thoughts into tangible things. Straddling these two forces, thinking and will, is the realm of feeling. When we connect our feelings and our thoughts we become powerful creators. We can create through the forces of love and light or through darkness and ignorance and every shade of light on the spectrum in between.

In observing the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms it is easy to see the existence perfect harmony and divine order. This is present to some extent in the human kingdom but we often cause disharmony and chaos through our
ill-considered and ignorant creations and sadly it’s the animals who end up suffering the most. During our class four visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium on 24th April we were asked to make a Penguin Promise to reduce our plastic usage. The children took up this promise very enthusiastically and we spoke of the many ways we can do this. Some examples were bamboo straws, reusable shopping bags, food wraps and water bottles. Whenever we encounter plastic we need to stop, take a moment and rethink. There are many ways to reduce our plastic pollution and unclog our oceans and marine life of the plastic that is slowly choking the life out of it.

In the famous words of Mahatma Ghandi, we need to be the change we wish to see in the world. Let’s use our creative evolutionary stature to become custodians of a planet where all kingdoms operate from a source of harmony and divine order. The only way to accomplish this is for each of us to go within and restore harmony and divine order, as within so without. Let us all make a much greater Penguin Promise to ourselves and the planet so that in the future an aquarium is not the only place our children will be able to experience the magnificence of the ocean.

Melanie Francis