To me this walk goes with the previous walk about Humans. Whereas the first one focused on complexity and uniqueness of the species, this keyword about this walk is individuality.
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I like to walk on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
Humans are on my mind because I recently drafted a beach walk about us. That walk focused on the differences between humans and other living things. Because more ideas came to me, there’s no better place than walking on the sand to ponder humanity; however, my focus is individuality. Who are we as individuals?
Every one of us is a name and gender that promotes an aspect of our identity.
Every one of us is a combination of the genetic identity of our family and environmental influences; such as our home environment, friends, work, culture, and experiences.
Every one of us is the clothes we wear that express ourselves, our culture, and the current times. I chuckle thinking of the styles of the late 1960s to the mid-1970s – and those times were different from the 1980s. For most of us, clothing also expresses our age.
Every one of us is the colors that we wear. To some, black express mourning, but black is also elegant and stylish. While many people associate white with weddings, others see white as an expression of mourning.
Every one of us is a list of positives and negatives. Then again, our traits are subject to the interpreter – so what one person sees as a positive, someone else sees as a negative. The same is true for likes and dislikes plus strengths and weaknesses.
Every one of us expresses an identity through our actions – the outward expression called behaviors – a visual expression delivering a message for anyone to observe, interpret, and compare with what we say.
Every one of us has a public life and a private life that comes with a juxtaposition between the two.
Every one of us is an open book and a mystery novel. As with any book, much depends on the reader’s interpretation of the author’s words.
Every one of us carries a perception that may or may not be true. Some positive perceptions are false – the same for some negative perceptions. The bigger question may be, why do the perceptions exist? Everyone wants others to accept them – but is that identity of who we are?
Everyone is a collection of labels involving nationalities, religions, politics, localities, education, heritage, culture, hobbies, and more. Interpreters even subdivided those identities. To some, being Christian is not enough: Catholic or Protestant? Others want more information, such as which type of Lutheran, Methodist, or Presbyterian.
Every one of us thinks about the mysteries of life that are difficult to answer. Who are we? Why are we here? What’s our future? What happens to us when we die? The list of those difficult-to-answer philosophical questions can be lengthy.
Every one of us is a celebration of similarities and differences – but that leads to the question of how we approach similarities and differences in others.
Maybe the challenge for each of us is to try to learn who we are. To look beyond that initial impression we give others, but to also not ignore it.
We, humans, are complex creatures. Then again, that complexity is an important part of human diversity. That’s a good thing from the biological perspective because diversity within a species is an important aspect of biological success. Consider cheetahs who lack diversity within their species.
Thinking about humanity isn’t easy – but I tried. I still doubt if other organisms can think like us. I’m sure I only touched the surface, but I like thinking about the big picture – especially here during snowbird season because I like walking on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
See what other bloggers have posted about Human Individuality
- Personhood and Individuality (an essay)
- The Impossibility of Being Human (a poem)
- Individuality (a short story)
- Being Human (a poem)
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