Thoughts on being human

November 18th, 2010 by Kawika Heftel

Sometimes, we come face-to-face with our own mortality. We think we can do anything, we reach for the sky, we aim for the stars, only to be reminded that when it all comes down to it, we’re still human. Mortal. Fallible.

I have a lot of patience with a lot of things. I am often patient with my computer, and I usually have a fair bit of patience for my fellowman. Where I really struggle is having patience with myself. With my own weakness. My own faults. My own….. mortality. There are so many good things I want to do, and in my mind’s eye I am like the mechanized human from the DROID commercials – efficient, productive, tireless. But when it comes down to it, my body can only be pushed so far before it tires, before it weakens. Why is this so hard for me to accept? Why do I want to be a machine, and be efficient and productive all the time? Why do I resent having to pull out of “the zone” for mundane things like food or sleep?

I think it’s because my mind likes soaring. Feed my mind the proper stimulus, and it will get excited and soar in the clouds for hours on end, marveling at limitless possibilities. Get me excited about a project, and I will work 12 hours without a break, because I believe in it, because I find it interesting, because it stimulates me. I like to soar with my mind, up to the clouds and beyond, basking in the limitless possibilities that life provides. I hate having to come down and take care of the physical needs of my body, because I feel it holds me back.

But part of being human is embracing our weaknesses. Embracing who we are – the whole person, good and bad, strong and weak. Part of being human is accepting our limitations, understanding that we are not able to run faster than we have strength. I pushed too hard last week and my body rebelled. I’ve been recovering from a cold this week, and sleeping, sleeping, sleeping. I’m tired of sleeping!! I want to be productive! I have deadlines, clients, projects, and exciting tasks to perform, intriguing problems to solve! No more of this taking-vitamins-and-crashing-out-on-nyquil crap!!

Ah, but it is not to be. As much as I may desire to be something more, I am a man, and I ought to be content with the strength allotted me. I ought to be content with the strength that I do have, instead of lusting after the strength that is unavailable to me. “Patience, grasshopper”, I can almost hear the Lord saying. “There is a time and a season for all things under heaven.”

But I don’t want to be patient! I want to be a better person, right now! I don’t want to sleep, I want to keep working and finish what I was doing instead of picking it up in the morning!

It’s these kinds of thoughts that lead to me getting sick. It’s these kinds of thoughts that lead me to overwork and exhaust myself. It’s these kinds of thoughts that I need to learn to control, to become a more well-balanced, happy person. For if I don’t preserve my health, I won’t be able to do anything – and that is never fun. Better to have some productivity than none at all. Better something than nothing.

That’s all for today. Hope you enjoyed reading.

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3 Responses to “Thoughts on being human”

  1. enjoyed!

    --Daniel Larsen, on November 18th, 2010 at 8:51 pm
  2. Thanks Daniel!

    --Kawika Heftel, on November 18th, 2010 at 9:04 pm
  3. Somehow I think the Lord might choose words other than “Patience Grasshopper.” :-) But I get your meaning and believe you’re right. I hope you’re feeling better.


    --John Macdonald, on November 23rd, 2010 at 5:25 am

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