Harry Wolff

You can't escape my laugh.

The Human Condition (or I Hate Being Human)

Attention: The views expressed below are not wholly descriptive of my own, they retain an expository style meant to impart the feelings contained.

I hate being human. I realized this suddenly and strongly the other day. I also realized it with a sigh of relief: it may well be the answer to my - if not everyone’s - problem that is the human condition.

What is the human condition? It’s that feeling which always seems to lie just on the periphery of one’s consciousness - drifting into and out of one’s comprehension. At times the dilemma is clear and daunting - at other times distant and vague. There are times when it evenly straddles both realms, leaving confusion and unease in its wake, forcing sleepless nights with thought upon thought stampeding throughout the mind.

I hate being human. The thought could not have shown itself clearer than it did last night, playing basketball, trying to win, and failing at repeated attempts to control myself as I wanted. Such a failing of my essence. Being human is to err as a human, yet in this age when computers and machines are ever present I have grown increasingly used and comfortable to precision and infallibility. When I command my computer to load a website it does so without complaint, fault, or difficulty. When I command my right hand to shoot the basketball straight it falls awkwardly to the side, ruining the movement I had envisioned.

One lapse in action I can afford and in many ways understand. Yet to have my body repeatedly commit undesired movement I cannot stand nor sympathize. The requests are not great, the actions are not difficult. Yet as I was dismayed to find, the human body is not equipped to be alike the exactness of a machine. How has humanity - with their human form - been so complacent and resigned to the inherent faults of their physical essence.

In many ways I am disgusted to have realized this failing so late in my life. Had I been aware I would have adjusted the manner in which I approached my daily activities - largely altering my way of life. Rather than cast concern toward the un-ending array of choices available everywhere, growing agitated at my inability to decide, I would embrace the frailty of my consciousness and its susceptibility to persuasion. I would embrace my doubt when asked if I’d like a large or medium coffee when the sleep still rested in my eyes, dumbly make my decision and humbly accept my frustration at the smallness of the small coffee and its inability to awaken me.

For shame that I am human and imperfect - for shame I say. The advertisements tell me perfection awaits just around the road’s bend -- so long as my smile is as white as pyrex. The television tells me happiness can be found on vacation, surrounded by water, where life is carefree and money doesn’t exist. The television tells me these things. And when I call and ask to go I’m asked if I’d like the luxury package (only four-hundred dollars more) or the basic package - one which I had assumed didn’t concern itself with money. How fearful is this logic and the perplexed feelings that arrive in hand.

For shame that I have faults. For shame that I am unable to continuously maintain an equilibrium of my inner states -- for shame. My friend’s ask why I am so happy, upbeat, and full of energy: ‘How strange and unusual’, is what their facial expressions say, ‘Calm down,’ is what their voices implore. Why they yearn to drag me down is beyond me, and I suppose not a fault of any - merely that of humanity as it currently exists. The following day, when I am intolerably tired, my friends cast eyes of concern at my brow and ask, ‘Are you ok? You’re usually so full of energy and happy. Are you depressed?’ How I yearn to vanish in a puff of smoke, leaving behind unnecessary concerns and questions that leave as suddenly as they appear.

Shame on me for assuming the failings of my own humanity aren’t shared with my brethren. How narrow minded must I be?

And even then, allow a pause and reflect: how deceptive are humanities failings. No sooner than discovering my own and inquiring of others do I forgot that I am not an isolated occurrence. Humanity is a shared failing that we seem to continuously peg its faults on our neighbors. We fail - we are at fault.

I hate being human.