Ramanath Parimi
3

I am really glad that a 7th grader asking this question where many older people haven't figured this out in their lives, yet. Kudos buddy.


Without creating an unwanted mess with confusing philosophies or scientific definitions here, let us look at the word itself to understand the meaning. The word human comes from a latin root homo which means man. Quite unfulfilling, isn't it?


Okay. Let me take help from a language from the east, Sanskrit. In which, a human is called mānava which comes from the word manas which means to be able to think. Interestingly, the word man in English also resembles this.


This needs further elaboration. Thinking doesn't mean logical thinking or problem solving skills here, which a machine can also do. I am not undermining them in anyway but thinking here means to be able to differentiate what is good and what is bad. What is worth and what is not. What is right and what is wrong.  We call this viveka or vicakśaṇa in Sanskrit. In English we can call this as the clear-sightedness or compassion.


You know, there are many species in the world which can eat, sleep, fear and reproduce by instinct. We are no different than them. There are many great machines in the world which can solve complex problems in a split second. We are no better than them. But we've given something called free will / choice. We must be able to understand and figure out how to use this for the own and the collective good.


Have you ever seen one of those guys who grab a flying butterfly or a crawling insect, squeeze it and watch it suffer just for the heck of it and call it fun? To be human really means not to do that - not because of a rule or a gospel, but by sense.