One of the most significant traits of being human is convincing ourselves or others of what we want to believe. This trait generally occurs when a person has experienced death. You may also see this trait develop with fear, control, manipulation, and regret. With fear this trait usually develops in humans in their early stages of life. Some fears are acquired based on specific life experiences; others are more universal and innate. As a child, most children grow terrified of the dark. This usually happens because of a scary story the child heard or a creepy movie they watched. As children are introduced to these things they have not encountered, they tend to convince themselves that it’s real. Scientists have proved it’s not darkness itself that’s frightening, It’s the fear of what the darkness masks. The dark leaves us vulnerable and exposed, unable to spot any threats that may be lurking nearby. For much of human history, dark meant danger, and fearing it meant taking precautions to stay safe. The story Erl-King is a great example of this trait as a father tries to convince himself and his son in what he wants to believe. In this ballad, a father and son are journeying home on horseback at night. The son is growing ill with an invigorate fever and believes he can hear and see the Erl-King. The father tells him that the figure he sees is only the fog and the supposed voice he hears is the rustling of the leaves. The boy is convinced by his dad’s words until the Erl-King appears again, threatening to forcibly take the child. When the child speaks his fears again, the father feeling his fears speeds up the ride only to return home with a deceased son. The importance of this ballad was to show the father pushing the child’s fears away by replacing them with realistic examples. Knowing his child’s affliction was fatal, the father repeatedly reassured himself and the boy that he was safe and would be okay. In the Book of Job, God and Satan disagree on Job’s faithfulness towards God. To let Satan try and prove Job is not faithful for good reasons, God permits Satan allowing him to take anything Job contains away. With this power, Satan murders Job’s servants, animals, and children. Next, God allows Satan to physically harm Job by casting boils all over the body. After enduring great suffering, Job speaks out for his friends’ presence where he seeks comfort. After Job tells of the catastrophes occurring, he then explains he did nothing to deserve this. None of the three friends had confidence in Job’s words and insisted he was lying. Eliphaz’s reasoning for Job’s suffering was that Job was receiving punishment for being unjust. Next, Bildad goes on to say Job is suffering because of his children’s sins. Lastly, Zophar’s reasoning for Job’s suffering was he thinks Job sins for speaking to God as he did. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar chose not to believe Job based on their personal beliefs of how they perceive God.
Along with the trait persuasion, comes questioning. As humans, we are the one unique species that does not seem to know how to be human, even though that’s the only species we are. As human beings, it is natural for us to question everything. It’s odd to think that humans go to therapy to figure out what it means to be human. We often think to ourselves how can we successfully be human? We spend our lives trying to figure out how to do humans. We never put that classification on any other species, because we humans have this unique capacity to imagine ourselves different than we are, better than we are. As humans we have this unique gift known as imagination, we materialize the invisible. As humans we imagine a world that does not yet exist; we imagine a future not created yet; we imagine ourselves of what we have not become. We sometimes imagine ourselves better than we are or life better than it is. The ability we humans have to get lost in our imagination and thought can potentially take over our lives. No other creature on earth contemplates their actions, who they are, and what they are meant to do like humans. As humans, we will always wonder if we lived the life we were supposed to, or if we act to our full potential. In the story, Mark Twain’s Diaries: of Adam and Eve and Satan, Eve questions her importance on earth and concludes she might be an experiment. While the thought of being an experiment is in question, Eve becomes indecisive about whether she is all of the experiment or part of it. In the early part of the story, Eve claims she has fallen in love with the moon as she believes it is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. Fascinated, Eve stays up all night, analyzing and chatting to the moon. After the first night and the sun rises the moon starts to disappear, causing Eve to question her surroundings. Every day Eve would wait for the moon to appear and disappear where she resulted in her reasoning of where the moon vanishes too. According to Eve, the moon gets loose and falls out of the scheme. Eve tends to believe there are kind people somewhere on the opposite side of the moon throwing the moon back in place. At the beginning of the story, Adam had only known solitude and enjoyed it until Eve came. Adam found Eve to be unusual and annoying. Adam did not like how much Eve talked and could not stand her consistent, random naming of things she discovered. Adam often became frustrated and wondered how and why Eve chose the names she did. Adam continuously questions Eve’s efforts. Adam notices Eve often stares at her reflection in the water, and names the fish she finds. Adam also claims that sometimes he watches Eve free the fish from the water and compares his sorrowful life to the appearance of the fish. Adam does not understand why Eve is constantly amused by her appearance, and feels the need to displace the fish. Throughout the story, Adam would often leave Eve to find solitude returning to her later. This would leave Eve questioning Adam’s lack of intelligence and personality. This is shown when Eve states “Perhaps it is because he is not bright and is sensitive about it and wishes to conceal it.”
Another important trait that makes a person human is the ability to judge. Think about your everyday life. Some people devote substantial amounts of time and energy to exercising, choosing outfits, and getting their makeup just right. Why is this? You may be thinking the answer is to make themselves feel good, or it’s a personality trait, but the real answer is judgment. To critique does not necessarily have to be someone giving their opinion on another, but it could be one evaluating oneself. The people who have a precise schedule to exercise for a specific amount of time every day, have a goal. That goal is to reach that person’s standard of how they want their body to appear. Then you have that one girl who spends hours getting ready, whether it is making sure every piece of hair is curled, or every spec of makeup applied has reached her definition of perfection. Maybe you have a special event planned and you spend thirty minutes contemplating not only what to wear but then checking with friends and family to make sure you reach that level of approval. At the end of the day these people who devote their life and time to be or look a certain way it’s because of judgment. People feel most comfortable when they are accepted, approved, and reassured by others. When you apply for a job there are basic steps to watch out for when going into your interview. Whoever is interviewing you will be inspecting you. Not only are they analyzing your resume, but they pay close attention to every detail in the way you present yourself. This ranges from how long you maintain eye contact, to the firmness of your handshake. Golfing is a good way for businesses to select the right employee who best fits their company. Not only can golfing show strengths and weaknesses, but it helps shine a light on a person’s true self. Businesses can see how you act under pressure, and how well you maintain self-control. Corporations test your self-control by offering you alcoholic beverages. By doing this, they expect the person to accept the drinks waiting to see when they will decline their next offer. In the story Gilgamesh: The Coming of Enkidu, Gilgamesh is a powerful being who is two-thirds god and one-third man. Gilgamesh used his power to cause chaos within the walls which angered the citizens of Uruk. Gilgamesh forced young boys into the army and pried through the nights stealing young girls’ purity. The people of Uruk complain to the Gods that Gilgamesh is exploiting the young men and women of Uruk, destroying families’ social status. The Gods then create Enkidu to rid Gilgamesh of his arrogance. The people of Uruk judge Gilgamesh for his actions in a negative light which caused the creation of Enkidu. Uruk and the Gods believed that Gilgamesh was out of hand, and needed to be stopped. Along with Gilgamesh: The Coming of Enkidu, the Rime of The Ancient Mariner can also relate to judgment. In the story Rime of The Ancient Mariner, the crew members grow angry with the Mariner because he shot and killed the Albatross. Shortly after, the wind stops which causes the ship to become completely still, therefore traps the members in the middle of the ocean with no way to return home. Because of this, the members took the dead albatross and hung it around the Mariner’s neck like an anchor. Their reason for this is because he deserved to be punished, knowing he ruined their only chance to go back home. Eventually the fog and the mist lift which allows the members to see their surroundings. In the story, the albatross symbolizes guilt the sailors’ place on the Mariner. Later in the story, the Mariner plays a dice game with the lady Life-in-Death. Life-in-Death wins the competition and in return wins the Mariner’s life, killing the rest of the living sailors. After being alone the Mariner begins to hear a roaring wind and see strange sights, realizing they are the dead men rising. The Mariner realizes even though the men are dead, they still blame him and stare out of anger and distaste. In Both climaxes of the story, the crew members blame the Mariner for their deaths. In the end, the men constantly judge holding resentment towards the Mariner because they feel he is responsible for this catastrophe. The men proceed to blame the Mariner for causing the wind to stop leaving them stranded and losing the dice game which costed their lives.
Another important trait that makes a person human is perseverance. Perseverance is an influential quality that makes us human. To have perseverance means to be determined, and not give up regardless of the obstacles and risks that might exist. As humans, we have to be willing to fail, to be wrong, to start over with lessons learned. Without failure, determination, and practice life would not be as meaningful. As humans, we have the ability and intelligence to satisfy ourselves if we persevere. We must use our greatest strength and take advantage of our uniquely human traits. In the film Cool Hand Luke, Luke was captured and thrown in prison for illegally cutting the heads off of parking meters while intoxicated. When Luke first entered prison he was disliked by everyone. This was difficult for Luke considering he would be spending a long period of his life surrounded by these people. At one point Luke claimed he could eat fifty eggs in one hour. Lukes fellow inmate Dragline took this opportunity to challenge Luke and see if he would follow his word. Luke accepted and the dare began. Towards the end of the bet, Luke was slowly running out of time as he struggled to finish the rest of the eggs. In this scene, Luke looked miserable as the men fed him eggs one after another. Luke began feeling ill but pushed through the tough times to prove himself. Later in the film, Dragline arranges for him and Luke to have a boxing match. Being much smaller, Luke is easily destroyed by Dragline. Out of breath and beaten to the core, Luke still will not give up. Every knock to the ground he continues to get up. After watching Luke continuously lose consciousness, the prisoners begin to plead for Luke to back down. After Luke’s inability to stop, everyone begins to walk away. At one point Dragline throws Luke across his shoulder trying to convince Luke to forfeit, only to have Luke get one last punch on Dragline. Even though this was a gruesome scene, it holds great significance in the kind of man Luke is. Luke can be seen as stubborn, determined, and committed. Luke persevered through the beating he received from Dragline.