Being Human

…Is a good show (UK version; I wasn’t a huge fan of the American version). It is not, however, a good excuse for the shitty things you do.

Everyone’s had confrontations like these. Somebody well-meaning makes a mistake which causes some trouble for you or someone else. When you inform this person that their mistake has affected you so and request that they make it right, they get defensive. They huff and they scoff, but they won’t even show the slightest bit of remorse for causing trouble, even inadvertently. Sometimes they won’t even admit they’ve made a mistake. After pushing, they get frustrated and tell you: “Well, I don’t know what you want from me. I’m only human!”

Congratulations. You’re human. You were born on Earth, a world where the dominant sentient species is human. Unless we’ve somehow shifted to an alternate universe where things like extraterrestrials and vampires and werewolves and other mythological creatures are more common than they are now, literally everyone around you is also human. Aren’t you special. (On an unrelated note, fuck whoever decided not to put me in that alternate universe. I wanna be a vampire. Or a tiefling. Both are appealing.)

I do understand what people who say “I’m only human,” with a fair amount of frequency are getting at. It’s a comparison to the divine. The philosophy behind the phrase is that humans are inherently flawed creatures, as opposed to God which is perfect, and therefore prone to mistakes. To be fair, they’re not entirely wrong. People make mistakes. It happens. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you own your mistakes and do whatever is in your power to fix them; or, in the event that your mistake cannot be fixed, you accept the responsibility and consequences of your actions (responsibility to the responsible, as we Satanists say).

Being human does not exempt you from those consequences.

Far too many people use this simple statement of fact, that they are human, as a way to excuse the mistakes they’ve made, or worse, to excuse the terrible things they’ve done in conscious. When these people make that statement, they aren’t just comparing themselves to God. They’re saying: “Because I am prone to mistakes and poor judgment, I cannot be held accountable for my actions. I will not be doing anything to correct this. It’s your problem now. I am untouchable.” It’s the ‘boys will be boys’ bullshit parents and preachers say that perpetuates rape culture; it’s the favorite excuse of abusive parents and lovers; it’s the wailings of teenagers who really really want to go out with friends tonight despite their failing grade and the danger zone their bedroom has become.

“I’m only human,” is the calling card of those weak in character.

 

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