January 21, 2022

Reader Submission

the following was sent in by ScrewTape

Which are you?

In the process of a random online conversation last night, through myriad paths of drug induced discourse (yes folks, boredom is a drug) I happened to be drawn into a discussion that forced me to articulate something that I?ve long felt but never really put words to. Although no great treatise on the human condition, I did feel it was interesting enough to warrant a bit of spit n? polish and possibly the attention of others. Now, to be quite honest I?m not exactly sure how the topic was broached but basically it came down to what I feel is a major separation in our species. Specifically what it is that makes us all human but only some of us people. Before we go into it any further I?ll go ahead and tell you that for most of you, when I say person or people you?re hearing something different than what I mean. So bear with me if it?s a bit confusing in the beginning, we?re going to try and remedy that.

I feel that the difference between a human and a person is a step in evolution. Although some might argue it?s spiritual (and it very well may be) I like to think of it as an evolution of the mind. A step forward in mentality. Essentially it breaks down into this. We?re all born as animals, that is the first thing we are and the first thing we will always be. This, to me, is a human. An animal and nothing more. As an animal we are gifted with a set of senses and for this discussion we?ll only take into consideration the five that are universally accepted. Sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. In no particular order. Now through these senses we have the ability to perceive our world and gather together a great tome of vast and nearly inexhaustible knowledge. This I believe, is where the split has its roots.

As our personal lexicon of knowledge increases we begin putting together pieces here and there, building scales and forming patterns. The ever changing scales and patterns we create are then used to measure ourselves and the world we inhabit. This is how we grow (mentally) and the standard by which we judge maturity. Many believe, myself among them, that it is the application of this knowledge that is acquired and tempered through experience that constitutes wisdom. Wisdom being nothing more than a deeper and more thorough understanding of what it is that we perceive as humans. To carry that a step further, maturity (the level of our mental growth) is roughly equivalent to the amount of wisdom we possess as individuals. Still with me?

So then, imagine humanity on a sliding scale of mental evolution. Those at the top being the most wise (enlightened) and those at the bottom the least (unenlightened) and in between, scattered throughout this amazing panorama of humanity, we have all manner of folks in various stages of wisdom/maturity. This is where the split becomes apparent. As we watch, a small number of those visible in our microcosm move up, a few move down, but the great majority sits nearly immobile. Stagnant. So we have three distinct and separate groups. Ones evolving (rising, moving forward, advancing), some devolving (sinking, retrograde motion, retreating), and then the largest group of all barely moving in any direction, mostly just being (hovering, standing, shiftless). In seeing this we can venture to say that in real-time the greatest indication of which group someone belongs to is their behavior. The ability, or more often willingness, to re-prioritize their instinctual impulses of want/need and weigh more complex matters into their decision making thought processes. Ergo, those who are more enlightened tend to be less likely to fall prey to the petty emotional (animalistic) indulgences such as greed, jealously, and hatred that we, as humans, still practice almost religiously on a daily basis. This is truly what separates mankind. The rift between being a human, and being a person.

And that?s it, how I view the sad predicament of my fellow humans. It isn?t anything new, I?m sure it?s been said many times before in much more eloquent ways but up until this evening I?ve never taken the time personally to really dissect it and study what I believe. Now, I?m not claiming to be right, I?m intelligent enough to understand that right and wrong are mostly perceptual and I?m in no position to judge the merit of either. This is merely meant to be a statement of what I believe to be the reason for many of our differences and the problems that arise thereof. As animals we are truly magnificent specimens. Creatures worthy of praise in our ability to not only adapt and survive, but to flourish under any conditions. However, as enlightened beings, as people, we still leave much to be desired.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com

Reader Submission

This is a reader submission from True Blue.

Quickly the girl sat up, turning off the radio and taking off her headphones. The tears started to flow freely, she hugged her knees to her chest and sat on her bed, staring at the doorknob. The door?s locked, she told herself. But the memories… the memories of seeing his form hovering over her in the darkness, watching and waiting for the right time…. Her sobs were the silent sobs of one who was accustomed to crying late at night when the house slept.

At a knock on the door she rose, wiping some tears away, and opened the door to let her mother in. Her eyes rose to meet the taller woman?s gaze, then she went back to sit on her bed. Her mother sat down beside her, held her in her arms like a little girl. Her shoulders and her breath shook. She closed her eyes to keep out the fear, but it just came through her eyelids.

“Just cry… let it all out… that?s it. Don?t be afraid to be noisy, just let go…” The girl laughed to herself. It seemed impossible to be noisy now, after all those years of silent crying. Silent solitary crying. Through it all I?ve never had a shoulder to cry on, and now that I have one I almost don?t know what to do with it, she thought. In a way it?s better to be alone, then I don?t have to worry about how what I?m doing affects other people. Or worry about whether the person knows exactly how I feel. But it?s better to have someone to cry with; that way I know I?m not alone. She stopped crying and walked to the door.

“I?m sorry I scared you,” said her mother.

“It wasn?t you who scared me.”

“I know, but I wish I hadn?t been the one to bring it all back to you.”

“Doesn?t matter.” She stared at the doorknob, it wasn?t the one her brother had turned those years ago, it was new. She looked at the refection of light on it?s shiny surface, saw out of the corner of her eye some hair tumbling down from it?s place.

“I guess I?ll go back to bed then…” her mother walked through the darkness to her own bedroom, the girl walked into the bathroom, closed the door and flipped on the light. She gazed at her reflection in the mirror. Her face was blank, her eyes wide and fearful. For a while she stayed there, as if waiting for something to happen, for some magical thought to click in her head. The bathroom door clicked open, the light switch clicked off. The door to her room opened and closed silently. A light went off inside, and the house was left dark and silent.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com