In the very sense of being alive, it is fairly easy to say that this is just about breathing the free air coming from the surroundings; feeding oneself three times a day; having a daily exercise to stay physically fit; going to school to learn; attending the mass or church services; and interacting with the people around. These things are basic and habitual, and truly, these things help in the survival of the human person – these keep him alive and kicking every single day.
Yet the main questions are, are these the only activities that being an alive human encompasses? Is he limited to what is already in the mainstream? Is he not capable of going beyond his capacity? What else should we know and understand about the human being? How can we say that the human already reached his highest potentials as a being? These are just some of the questions that puzzle my mind most of the time when I reflect about the real essence of being human. I am constantly asking myself as to whether or not I have already reached my maxim as a human here on earth.
Basically, we may truly not fathom the mystery behind being human. It is beyond the mind’s capacity. Even the most credible scholars still cannot explain the fullness of being a human person, but this does not mean that we should just be contented with what are set before us – with the usual experiences we live by every day. No matter how hard the situation may be, we need to search for more in order for us to reach our highest potentials as human beings. We need to strive, so that we may reach our full human capacity. Hence, what does being fully human really mean?
In the article of John Powell, he has presented five insightful steps to achieve the full capacity of being human. According to him, a person has to undergo these steps: (1) to accept oneself (2) to be oneself (3) to forget oneself in loving (4) to believe (5) to belong. He was able to extensively interpret each step, and whoever the reader may be will just be able to easily grasp the message that he is trying to convey. Thus, the fullness of life does not end with how a person survives his daily living. It goes beyond – it is unimaginable for those who do not reflect the essence of being truly alive.
The article clearly reflects the idea that the fullness of life can be achieved only if there is an acceptance of oneself and solidarity with the people around. It can always be understood that a person has to be grounded with the moral ideals and principles, so that when he goes out of his way, it would not be so hard to deal with the different people and to face various adversaries.
For the first step, I am struck with the statement that a fully alive person is aware of all that is good in himself. This is very true, because a person who does not acknowledge his strengths and potentials will hardly see the brighter side of life. Inferiority will just haunt him, and this will cause him to eventually be destruction even to himself.
In the second step, what I like best is how the author made it a point that a fully alive human being has overcome the dictations of other people. It opens the eyes of the people to see that we are not supposed to always seek for the approval of the other people, because it will only cause us to feel frustrated if we were not able to meet their expectations.
The third step conveys how the fullness of life leads the person towards empathy and compassion for other people. The once selfish I, is already selfless.
In the fourth step, the author suggests that the person experiences the fullness of life once there occurs the faith commitment. Life begins to have possibilities, and these possibilities already help us see the purpose of living.
The final step suggests how a fully alive human being already creates deeper connection with the people around him. There becomes a sense of solidarity and unity in the aim of bringing out the best from each person he or she encounters in life.
I am truly astonished with how this article became so timely for me. I may have a clear understanding of my purpose here on earth, yet there are times that I am really caught up in the situation of questioning whether what I have been doing are already enough. Due to the everyday works which seem to just be routinary, I sometimes end up exhausted and burned out. I believe that it is very normal for the people who exert so much effort in attaining their goals in life to feel these sometimes. It would always be possible that we will get tired and weary. Nevertheless, I often reach the point of reflecting what I have done in the past – what I have been doing in the present – what I can do for the future, for me to reach my highest potentials as a person. This article might have not answered all the queries in my mind, yet this has helped me to believe that there is always a possibility if we will just continue to strive for whatever it is that we would want to attain.
The five steps do not necessarily mean that when we reach the final step, we should already stop from searching for more. I believe that reaching the final step is just the beginning of how we could truly attain the fullness of life. I just need to keep on trusting my Lord and Creator, because I know that He is faithful and just to finish what He has started in my life. Through His help, I know that I will be able to reach the fullness of life for He said it in His Word, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11