Let us introduce you to Ziggy Razuki. Ziggy is one of the Still Space team and you may have heard him on one of our podcasts. He is constantly wondering and questioning about what makes us tick, think and live in the way that we do. He wrote this for our December 1st event Reclaiming Our Humanity, whilst traveling he is unfortunately missing the event.

When the Still Space family sat down to decide on the topic for our upcoming launch, we toed and froed with its title. We knew we wanted to talk about what it means to be alive, to exist in this world, but also what it means for us as humans beings. Though there are uncertainties and debate around the undeniable intelligence of animals, particularly our fellow mammals, it is hard to argue against the fact that it is, at the very least, unique to be human. 

We need not delve into matters of consciousness or spirit, or any other term that needs extensive philosophical research, to agree on this; more simply acknowledge that we hold an understanding of existence that goes beyond that of the other living creatures we share this planet with. The SS team agreed it is this differentiating factor which separates us; not that we are alive, that we know we are alive and understand we are. Since our ancestors first looked to the stars and asked ‘why’, we took the first questioning steps on a lonely path of inquiry to where we are today. 

So, if we have decided on what we mean by humanity, what do we mean by ‘reclaiming’? Naturally, to reclaim something, you must no longer have something which you once did. Can someone take an aspect which is so innate to being you? Or, conversely, have we simply forgotten what it means to be human? Personally, I lean more towards the latter. 

Our capacity as aware beings that interact with the world in front us is immense. Every other mammal on this planet spends most, if not all, of its time with the world below their face, unable to change what lies ahead of them, unable to change the environment around them to suit them better. We can do this not only literally and physically, but mentally and emotionally. 

Our emotions are often seen, in today’s world, as hinderances. They get in the way, make us irrational, act impulsively and ‘lose control’. 

But is this the case? 

Is it we can’t control them, or that we aren’t encouraged to cultivate the necessary understanding of how and when they manifest, and what to do when that happens? This is a big part of why Still Space has been created; to connect to ourselves in order to connect to one another. 

This aspect of our humanity holds immense power. It permits us the option of choice. Choice around how we act, how we treat each other and how we treat ourselves. We can choose to smile at a stranger, we can choose to not react with anger when we are cut off in traffic and we can choose to acknowledge how we are feeling in a relationship or job, or to ignore it. 

Being human also carries with it undeniable beauty. We can hope, we can dream, we can laugh, we can love. We can love. Love knows no bounds, has no limits and does not discriminate. Love is all encompassing, never ending and unquestioning. For me, knowing love, feeling love and experiencing love is the ultimate expression of our humanity. 

Coincidentally, when I sat in a cafe to write this piece I was next to a couple who were clearly discussing the potential of recovering their relationship after a break. I heard, perhaps sneakily and on purpose, snippets of their conversation as it seemed particularly relevant to this article. At one point, in response to an accusation as to how she had purposely riled him on multiple occasions, she said, “Yeah I know, but I am only human.” 

Only human. 

Maybe this is the question each of us must ask ourselves? Are we ‘only human’ or are we ‘human’? Is our humanity something to excuse our actions, or is it what allows us to move above and beyond them? Is our humanity a limitation, or is it a boundless plain of incredible possibility? Is being human a burden to be borne with a grimace, or a responsibility to be held with a smile and love in our hearts? 

We look forward to discussing this and so much more with you on December 1st.