What it Means to be an Imperfect Human

Today, I’d like to share my favourite quote/words of all time. Technically, this is not a quote, but it’s one of my favourite short-stories of all time. I first heard it in Bengali, so I translated it in English to the best of my ability, through my own words which may or may not be similar to the original.

A young boy wanted to see what a thief looked like. All his life, he heard hushed whispers, expressions of distaste and sneers directed at this so-called “thief.” After begging his father, they finally went to a jail as visitors. There, hunched in a cell, was a shabby man with torn clothing and a thin physique. The boy, disappointed by the mundane sight, says, “But Dad, that’s just a human.”

I think one of the things we forget is that, no matter how bad the crime, the person is still human. The average human has different values, morals, a perspective of life that may alter from another’s –or, in worrying cases, from the law’s. The “thief” mentioned in the passage is possibly an accepted form of labelling, as the person genuinely does steal, but having their sins be the only thing they’re known for? What about their good traits, what about their goals and ambition, what about their motives behind the stealing altogether?

I suppose this could have served as today’s Simply Sunday quote, but I liked the short story too much.

When we label a person, we do more than add a vague description; we summarise them into a word that is never the full aspect of their personality. We don’t acknowledge their reasons for this sin nor other aspects of their personality; just as a simple sin. Other labels such as “nerd” or “jock” may not reach an extent of defining  them as a sin, but it restricts them to a standardised personality and behaviour, usually with more negatives than positives.

Basically, there is such thing as being both the victim and the culprit of grouping. We ourselves know that, regardless of the labels pasted on us, we’re still much, much more than a simple word. You can be thief and a kind person, a liar and contain a classy personality; but then I’m labelling again. See? It’s so difficult to stop restricting humans to a handful of words.

Don’t take labels as definitions of yourself, as they never reach the depth of your personality. And sometimes, they’re not labels but unjustified, “You’re stupid” or “You’re too (fat/skinny), go (lose/gain) some weight,” where you should take it with a massive bucket of salt. Labels are used as absolute values; however, who gave someone the authority to decide what makes a person intelligent? What qualifies as being too “skinny” or “fat”? Even if you are, and only by your own standards, a member of a negative group, that does not determine your self-worth.

Yes, you should always look into improving yourself, and you’ll find that sometimes you don’t do what’s relatively right. But even in the process, you should never forget your other qualities, and that one simple word cannot define you, no matter how much of your personality it seems to summarise. Even the “worst” person has redeemable, wonderful qualities, all which cannot be summarised in a couple of words.

Here’s some inspirational music for everyone (probably should’ve played whilst reading, so that inspiration may cover your ability to spot always-present typos in this post):

Best wishes for your goals! And Happy Saturday. 😀



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10 thoughts on “What it Means to be an Imperfect Human

  1. Ramisa! you’re such a beautiful human being. sometimes I can get so caught up in my opinions and judgements of others I forget they simply have insecurities and hopes and virtues, etc, just like me. lovely post 🙂 x merry chrissie

    • Lucy! Aww, you are a wonderful person; thank you so much for taking the time to drop a comment. Actually, the reason I wrote this post was a reflection upon myself, as I (too) am too quick to categorise others using words, when it shouldn’t be that simple. I suppose this post was born within a reflection of myself.
      And Merry Christmas to you as well! 😀 Any holiday plans? 🙂

    • Aww, thank you so much! 😀 (I’m so sorry for the late reply; I just noticed this comment now)
      And catching up on sleep… I seem to be doing that lot lately too, hahaha. xD Although I love school and everything, it’s so… exhausting. 😛

    • Thank you for stopping by! 🙂
      Although a punishment for certain sins may be considered, it’s important to realise that a sin (or negative trait) doesn’t define a person. I agree that some sins shouldn’t go unpunished, but even then, there is more to a person than a simple label or personality trait.
      But thank you for your input! 😀

      • It is also helpful to remember that we didn’t create ourselves, and we aren’t the best judges of why someone else does something we consider punishable. Our imperfections and weaknesses are known best by our Creator, and our punishments are much better off left to the Highest Judge! Its more helpful for us to be merciful with one another, than judgemental, don’t you think?

  2. Thanks so much for linking to my post!

    I have been struggling this week with not judging people. We live in a country where poverty is rampant and it is not unusual to see young children running around on their own. I have to remind myself that life here is different and parents do what they must to survive. Thank you for the reminder not to judge others.

    • You are welcome! And thank you for sharing a personal story of your own; I agree with you. Sometimes, when I see parents neglecting their children for other matters (even survival, at times), I feel a horrible sense of injustice. But after a while, it occurs to me they have their own issues to deal with; things I can’t imagine.
      Thank you for stopping by! 😀

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