Life is a long journey between human being to being humane

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Essay Contest for UPSC Exam for IAS

Being Humane means transformation from an individual to the person who is
not only being able to look things from others perspective and but also able to
show benevolence and compassion with respect to other. Historical evolution of
human was from ape to Homo sapiens. Early man was just like animal,
hunting for food, not familiar with many values of present day society. Values
are the major difference in a person while going along the journey of life. Each
experience, each step we take adds or deletes or modifies our value system
accordingly, to make us better, a true person.
The journey of a human begins from birth of a baby from a mother’s womb. At
this stage Human being is no different from any other living being on Earth,
driven by hunger, sleep etc. As we grow, a human develops in many other
aspects, attains values - both positive and negative such as – love,
compassion, empathy (positive) and selfishness, dishonesty, greed
(negative) etc. A typical human being passes through most of these phases to
become a real “human”.
Ancient Indian literature, specifically speak about the life journey between
human being to being humane through Purushartha, which literally means
“an object of human pursuit”. It is a key concept in Hinduism, and refers to the
four proper goals or aims of a human life. The
four puruṣārthas are Dharma (righteousness, moral
values), Artha (prosperity, economic values), Kama (pleasure, love,
psychological values) and Moksha (liberation, spiritual values). While
human being focuses on Artha and Kama more in initial years while following
Dharma throughout, the focus shifts to attaining Moksha through the phase of
“being humane” or truly becoming a human. Lives of many present day
industrialists who are doing great deal of charity can be sited under this
example – such as, Shri. Azim Premji, Shri. Ratan Tata and Mr. Bill Gates.
Our surroundings, parents, teachers, individuality everything place a role in
making us a true human. Based on these, some people might go through this
transition faster and sooner than others. For example, people like Gautama
Buddha, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi have seen the journey of this
life time soon so that they could live as “being humane” for most of their part.
Their journey did not only make them human, but also helped millions others
to become true persons. Few very important values which are common in
these great people are – empathy, compassion, truth and non-violence. Hence
it can be inferred that, these values are crucial in “being humane.”
We cannot define a single set of cardinal values which make a person a true
“human”. Each person has different way of choosing. For example, during
COVID-crisis many people argued for saving lives is the primacy and
supported for long state imposed lock downs. Whereas other set of people
argued for saving livelihoods of many migrant workers and MSMEs is utmost
important and asked for earliest revival economy. Both are equally correct
and equally wrong. An efficient human will choose a middle path and try to do
justice for both economic and social aspects of human life, minimizing
negative impact of choosing one on the other.
These human values are also temporal in nature i.e change with respect to
time. For example, from the beginning of evolution of human life -till late 20th
century, man mainly focused on bettering human life (both for himself and
others) to become a true human. In this process he destroyed the bio-system
around him. De-forestation, many species becoming extinct, global warming
and climate change all are the result of narrow focus of human on growth
alone. Now the repercussions of this damage are being felt by us also. Hence
now is the time to realize this and incorporate the value of safeguarding biodiversity also as one of the human-values.
Human being is nothing but a flesh and bones at birth, to becoming a complete
man, who influences lives of many by the end of his life. Every person teacher,
cobbler, carpenter, business man, bureaucrat, politician – has a role to play in
our society. Each person, irrespective of economic prowess, power, and
knowledge becomes a true human – if in his life time he could make even if a
single person’s life better, without making any other’s life worst. Such
influence of a person may vary, but at the level of humanity, everyone is equal.
This long life journey is nothing but transition from human being to being
Declaration: The content of the essay is solely according to my knowledge and is
not copied from anywhere

-Anusha Kolli

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