On Being Human

Being human doesn’t necessarily mean you are not a monster. Monsters exist in all forms, including human. Recently I binge watched the UK version of Being Human. The show deals with the theme of what it means to be human as told through the eyes of three housemates who happen to be supernatural—a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost. Each one in their turn wrestles with gaining their humanity back, as if it were somehow lost when they became part of the supernatural world. What they and we find out, is that humanity is a choice, even for humans.

What matters is doing the right thing. To understand good versus evil and to act upon the good. It’s all about free will and choice. We all have a part to play in God’s plan, but it is up to us if we choose God. We get to choose if we will conduct ourselves with dignity and grace, forgiveness and humility, act justly and with mercy, and to do good whenever and however we can*. And in today’s society, we need to remember this again and again and yet, again.

Not to negate the history of the world, for in every generation it has been the end times, even in the beginning, and we have always had to make a choice. Waking up today, I’ve been bombarded with words strung together by people who want me to believe in their radical understanding of events one way or another. Word formations designed to incite, to radicalize, to force, to make a column down the middle and to take my choice away because if I don’t choose a side, then I must be with them.

What if my choice is not to choose? What then? Is that still not a choice? It doesn’t seem to be a popular stance. What does it take to remain neutral amidst chaos? Can we be truly neutral? As humans don’t we want to be good? If we want to be human and to do good, then we must pick goodness. But which side is good? All we are presented with are ultimatums. Being human means we all have good and evil inside us; we are good or bad as we choose. Again choice. Rational, critical thinking seems to be going by the wayside and if you try to argue a point using facts rather than emotion, you are blamed for not using your mind to think for yourself. You are a mindless drone, following orders of those who direct the narrative.

In such times as we live in, it’s a good idea to bring some levity into our lives, or so I believe. You may disagree with me, it’s okay, I don’t mind. I like civil discourse and will gladly engage in friendly conversation, even if we find ourselves debating pros and cons of an issue. It’s fun, in my opinion, to examine different sides of any given topic, mind the verbal combatants remain friendly and don’t go off in a huff or tizzy at being outdebated on any given point. I mentioned binge watching Being Human, now I’ll mention I’ve had the pleasure to read author Paul Sating’s Zodiac series and finished my advance reader’s copy of book 0, The Fall of Aries.

In this, the prequel to the first book Bitter Aires, we learn more about the world the author has created, including characters we have met in the first four books. We get a glimpse of the All and find out how and why demons are immortal by human standards but are not eternal, and we learn what we already suspected, that Aries was always a cool, laid-back demon who just wanted to play music and chill. And we get to see the gift of Creed, the creation of Lucifer’s first council, and the choices made that led to the present life Zeke and his fellow demons live in the different Circles of Hell. Also, we explore what it means to be good or bad throughout the series and book 0 doesn’t disappoint.

What we are told is bad or good must be reconciled to what we know to be good or bad. We are fallible. We are not the divine. Humans were created in God’s image, but we are not gods. What we are is human, or in the case of the book, demon. Either way, we must choose for ourselves what the right course of action to take is based on what we know to be right. This theme of doing the right thing, presented in the upside-down world where demons just want to live their lives free from angel torments, and done with humor, runs throughout the series and continues to be a timeless necessity in our end times of today.

Whether or not you end up watching the show or reading the book, picking one side or another dividing us, I hope you will engage in activities that promote goodness, kindness, forgiveness, and mercy. Choose good over evil, think critically and make up your own mind, and remember being human and doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it is a choice—yours.

* Bible verse Micah 6:8 NIV: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

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