How much ‘humane’ is today’s human being?


The word human being literary means a living creature that is composed of humane qualities; qualities that are characterized by love, affection and care but the most important and the only quality that demarcates human beings from the other living creatures is the quality of not being impersonal otherwise there is no difference between a man and an animal. The composition of these qualities is different in everybody but is present in every being. Though of lately, we have observed events that have forced us to think as to whether today’s man really fit in the definition of a true human being.

Human being is the most advanced being of all the living creatures on this earth so it becomes his moral responsibility to take care of all the other fellow beings that do not possess the skills that they do. God has given certain special qualities to his every creation say for instance we cannot do what a Lion can likewise a Lion cannot do what we can. Talking of the same species, every human being is different from the other, for example I may not possess the quality the other person has and vice-verse and God has done this for a reason. If he had endowed everybody with the same qualities then “social interdependence” would not have existed and the nature would not have been balanced. As the very famous saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility”, but man seems to be misusing his superior abilities. From time to time there have been exemplums that have shown the ruthless attitude of man not only towards his inferior species but also for his fellow beings.


Not going too far, recently I came across a headline in the newspaper and I was literally taken aback. There was this incident about a tribal girl who was brutally ravished by almost all the men of the village and that to publically in front of everybody in the village just because she married the man whom she loved and the man was from different cast and this was against the laws of those tribal people. Not only this, the girl’s family was also socially banished from the village for this act of hers. According to the head of the village , this kind of punishment was given to the girl just to create fear in the minds of the people so that they do not repeat the same, in fact the most terrible part of the whole incident was that even the village’s women were of the opinion that the punishment was justified. Now how shocking is that!! According to the sources this is the only one of the several such incidents that has come into limelight otherwise in past as well there have been many such incidents. One illustration give us an account that once a girl was made to wander around the entire village naked and anybody on the way could molest her ; this was the punishment that she got. As far as people of the village are concerned it is all fine the person who commits mistake is liable to get punishment as simple as that, but the question is; is falling in love with somebody a crime? First of all it is not and even if it is then is these kinds of punishments justified? Are these laws and rules above morality? The answer is a big NO! No matter how grave a crime is but nobody is liable to be treated in such an inhuman manner.

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Voltaire once stated,” Tolerance is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly- that is the first law of nature.”


This is just a so called small incident; there have been many where people have experienced the same kind of agony on the name of laws, rules and what not. People today seem to have lost their faculty and therefore are acting in insensate manner. The only reason which I can figure out is the self-centered attitude of people because had they imagined themselves in the same situation as the sufferers they would never have attempted to commit such kind of cruel acts on others. There are numerous cases almost every day where people kill each other just for the sake of money or for these worldly things. Life seems to be a race where in everybody is running and trying to surpass each other and is not even a bit hesitant to grab an opportunity to let the fellow beings down so that they can win over them.


We all are living in the 21st century and we have become very advanced in all the spheres. Today we have the best of technologies, services available at our disposal but very sadly there has been an inverse relationship between our economic development and our moral development. Legend has it, according to Indian mythology, there was once a sage called Maharishi Dadhichi who died voluntarily just for the welfare of the mankind since only the weapon that was made out of his bones could kill the evil spirits that was harming mankind. In today’s world we cannot even imagine such kind of thing happening, i.e. a person dies for the welfare of others though cases of people killing each other for his own benefits have been commemorated though exceptions in all the cases are always present.


Have we ever tried to just slow down and ponder as to where we have come up in our life, our faculties have literally become slave of these worldly things that we , the most advanced creature of this universe have lost the power of reasoning; the power to discriminate between what is morally correct and morally incorrect. I am sure this is not the kind of world or the kind of examples that we would want to set for our future generations. Moral development of human beings is the urgent need of the hour and we should learn to tolerate and forgive others.


I would like to conclude with the very meaningful lines by Joseph Campbell;

“One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life and dedicate ourselves to that.”

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