What makes us human? Is it the simple fact that unlike any other species we are able to self-reflect? Do we all have a purpose in life? And if so, is our happiness bound to the achievement of that purpose? And if any human is capable of giving and receiving love, why can’t we manage to live in peace?
Last night I have watched the most epic and impressive documentary of the genius director Yann-Arthus Bertrand who has also directed “Home – the movie“. The two and a half hour master-piece features opulent aerial images, almost a signature move from Betrand. Mixed with up-close interviews with – from a model perspective – glossy lightning, that is not taming the facial features as we are used to from tv commercials and movies, but is supporting each and every individual attribute.
He collected stories of over 2000 people from over 60 countries and the sheer amount of authentic, genuine and warm-hearted individuals is deeply impressive. Sad stories from war, death, revenge and the worst traits of the human race. Stories of love, forgiveness, about growth and about concluding peace with oneself. And about what makes our life meaningful, how we can achieve happiness and the obstacles along our way.
I think each of us would take away something different away from this movie. From my personal view, I found it most remarkable how the viewpoints from a variety of people with completey different backgrounds merge into one message. That violence and war are never in the nature of a single individual. That ultimately, we all strive to love and to be loved back and that a unimpaired partnership or family is the only way for profound and lasting happiness.
But besides, I have grasped the feeling that in the blessed position of a western-european woman living in 2017 I am often not even capable to understand and empathise how tough the life of many is. What is remarkable though is that the US or European citizens interviewed somehow all seem to struggle with the question of how their life could get a meaning and why they cannot find their purpose on this planet. In my very personal opinion media and the entertainment industry has sold us the idea of being specially created for a sole purpose to sell certain goods. And seemingly the burden of not being “special”, of not leaving “footprints” in the history of mankind is lying heavy on us. Again, my very personal opinion is bullshit. Soon enough we will be 10 billion people on earth and only very few will break world records and win olympic gold or find a cure for a deadly disease. To me, the quest in life is finding love and happiness along the way, being grateful and don’t get carried away by the temptations of a consumer society.
Please watch Human. Please tell others about it. It will make you question things, but isn’t that what being human is about?