We are not sea sponges

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So many pores for listening.

I’ve been hearing the term “human nature” more often. This has held especially true when referring to racism, battling in the streets over conflicting opinions or lack of listening to the other side of an argument. “It’s human nature, you’ll never change human nature.”

This is a lazy mindset. I believe that what separates humans from every other animal is the awareness that human nature exists. Unlike other living beings, we have the ability to recognize and correct flaws in our animalistic tendencies, rather than mindlessly act upon them. I like to think of it more simply as having a soul.

Listening has been a broad theme in recent classes. What I’ve taken away from various class exercises is not the importance of listening however; that is something that is stressed to us throughout our entire lives. I’ve learned that what’s more important than listening is being fully present during any interaction with someone else.

Being able to absorb and regurgitate information like a sea sponge can be useful and shows that we are listening, but we aren’t sea sponges. Sea sponges don’t have souls. Humans have the ability to truly ruminate and process on an engagement with another human. Showing that humanity is how we gain trust and confidence from others, and what separates us from animals.


1 thought on “We are not sea sponges

  1. This is so well put! Do you know the famous quote from the movie African Queen? In response to the suggestion that something is “only human nature,” the central character says, “Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.”


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