Sunday, July 31, 2011


Although we are born human, we must grow to be humane, which I’ll define as sane and wise.  Neither sanity nor wisdom is innate except as potentials in human beings, qualities needing to be developed and nurtured if they are to flourish.  Nonetheless, to become a humane human being is the end state of perfection or full self-realization we may infer to be our species' paragon.

Jesus and Socrates and the Buddha have long been admired for their perfected humanity, for their humaneness par excellence, as paragons beside whom we may measure our own developing sanity and wisdom.  But many other saints and sages, men and women, also stand on pedestals to be honored, revered and emulated for the various aspects of human perfection they have demonstrated: sanity and wisdom such as we ourselves have yet to achieve but mean to pursue.

And just that quest is our implicit imperative.  The overarching goal of all our education is not to grow merely smart and capable, knowledgeable and clever, but to grow sane and wise—to grow humane. 

Ponder that and emulate your paragons.