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What Makes Truly Human?

By adodong23 Jan 14, 2012 765 Words
What Makes Man Truly Human?

The Social Dimensions of Human Existence
By Dr. Manuel B. Dy, Jr.

It has always been said that, “No man is an island”. Through this has become a cliché, but, in reality this is also the underlying dynamics of how each person truly lives and fully attained its potentialities. It is only when an individual is able to extend himself or herself in relation with others can there be fulfillment on all his or her endeavors since he or she does not exist apart from the others.

Dr. Manuel Dy understands being-with-others in various modes. One mode he calls socius and the other interpersonal. Both ways require a relationship & a responsibility as a matrix where the human being can develop himself/herself can have a grasp of every consequences of his/her action. It must be noted that the human being is endowed with the capacity to make a choice & decide. Hence, each person is in a dynamic process to exercise both freedom and responsibility to become who he or she wants to be, who jeopardizing the well being of others in existence.

Dy, in his line of though, asserts that a person is a being, who is not only free but becomes free and “responsible”. He or she is a person who becomes self-possessed within an objectively directed project of life. One of the trends in our time and culture is that many, if not majority, among the popular are becoming weak in handling responsibility. How many relationships are in the verge of breakdown because of one’s inability to extend himself/herself beyond for the greater good?

When something goes wrong, it is easier to blame others then take direct responsibility. It is easier to justify one’s inadequacy rather than accept and face squarely what is lacking. It is easier to defend or to complain or to escape than recognize that sometimes we are also flawed.

Moreover, it is very possible that an individual human being will not reach full development at all. We recognize that there are human beings who fail to possess those basic qualities, which are required for full humanness. Sometimes we use the word "inhuman" to describe such persons. They may be cruel, insensitive to others, irrational, or robot-like in their lives and dealings with others. At other times we use the word "animal" to describe persons who follow their lower instincts and ignore their consciences, their human dignity and the higher values of human life. We judge such inhuman people, such "animals" to be less than fully human. Such a truth challenges each one of us. Am I as an individual going to realize the full humanness that is possible for me? Will I play a role helping other human beings to grow into humanness that they are capable of? For the task confronts me in my life is not only one of coping with the problems of survival but also one of achieving a level of life that is truly human. I am challenged in life not only to survive and to be prosperous but also to be human.

Man, in order to be fully free and alive must be responsible for whatever what happens because man as a being has a rationale nature and therefore has the capacity to act in a more reasonable way and has the power to consider options. Man has the faculty to be fully in charge of himself/herself especially when it is about a response to life. Out of many possible responses man can always have the chance to weigh what is desirable & life-giving.

Self-Actualization is a goal to our human existence. The fullness of one’s life unfolds when man reaches the level of transcendence where the center in all that he or she does is no longer the self but others. Thus the pursuit of real happiness is not in the process of taking from (though it is a basic part) but it is in the process of giving to or giving for. Therefore, man reaches its full realization as a being when he or she is able to extend himself/herself to another. No wonder why Dr. Manuel Dy concludes, “Our existence is an existence for one another”.

Indeed, “No man is an island”. To fully exist we need to always live our day-to-day life, in relation-with-others. The attainment of our human potentials happens for so long as we are not in isolation or alienated from another.

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