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Language of Wonder

A look into what makes humans....humans

By Chris ColemanPublished 7 years ago 3 min read

Throughout history the question has arisen many times as to what makes us human. What differentiates us from the common ape? Science has shown we share a majority of our DNA with other wild primates. Regardless, Humans have qualities that make us the superior being, both physically and mentally. As humans we have the ability to question and have a fascination for things that don’t solely contribute to our survival. We retain a passion for things of vanity, and a love for knowledge that comes with a thirst to ask why.

As a species we have seen many people who specialized in asking why. People like Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Montesquieu and others who have set their place in history simply for asking "why?" It is this fascination that has contributed to the debunking of things people once believed as fact, like for thousands of year we thought that the earth was flat, or that the sun revolved around us. There are many things we would have never known if we hadn’t bothered to ask "why?"

Of course there have also been people throughout history who's wonder and question have brought great tragedy to the world. Less we forgot Adolf Hitler who wondered what the world be like without Jewish people. Or the creators of the atomic bomb, who wonder and sole intent was to harm and kill as many people as possible. As many things in the world there is a positive and a negative to everything, questions and wonder are not immune to this law.

Throughout the world there are few human languages that don’t include the words "yes" or "no" - Latin and Irish to name a few - but there is no human language that lacks a word for "why." Your dog doesn’t look up at the sky and wonder what all the stars are, or if there is anything else out there. Cats don’t have a religion or concern themselves with a higher power of any sort. Alligators don’t bother themselves with what other alligators think of them. The fact that we can wonder and learn, in itself, is extraordinary and distinguishes us from any other species on earth.

As a child we discover very quickly the word "why?" and that most questions have answers. Once we learn that asking questions is the way to knowledge, we grow an unquenchable thirst for it. As a child we ask complex questions like "where do babies come from?”, To simpler questions like "what's in a pen that makes it write." Regardless of the question, all questions asked are in an effort to seek an answer, and all questions come with a fascination that only humans hold.

Across the world there is an estimated 4,200 religions, All exclusive to humans. As a human many of us seek some sort of higher power that is bigger than ourselves in a search to answer life's most difficult questions. We are only species that toys around with the idea of a creator, an afterlife, a god. We are the only life form to worship something, let alone worship something or someone we can neither see nor hear. As a species we question our existence and our purpose. It is this ominous being that takes many forms across many different religions that have caused many wars, battles, and lost lives. Throughout written history there has always been some kind of religion fueled war going on somewhere in the world. Religion is a wonder that humans are very passionate about. Each religion thinks they are worshiping the correct god, that they have the answer to the most complex and sought after questions humans have ever asked, and history has shown that human are more than willing to fight for what they believe is the answer to life's greatest questions.

Individually we continuously strive on a pursuit of happiness, while all other species are on a pursuit simply to survive. We concern ourselves with things like what atoms are made of and what our neighboring planets look like, while other species are only concerned where there next meal is. We as a people choose to thrive and survive, with a level of consciousness and self-awareness that is unparalleled by any other life form on earth.

As a human It is our exclusive ability, and almost our need to ask questions and seek answers to an infinite amount of things. Throughout our entire lives we never stop asking why. We never stop our search for more knowledge. As long as we continue to evolve and adapt we will do nothing more than continue to ask questions about where we come from, what our purpose is, and on to an infinite amount of other things. From complex equations to simple answers, we always retain our sense of wonder; it is this that separates us from the rest of creation, as we continue are on an ever-longing search for "why?"


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    CCWritten by Chris Coleman

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