THE BLOG
01/08/2014 04:48 pm ET Updated Mar 10, 2014

The Art of Being Human

If you would be asked to define yourself in a few words, what would come to mind? Would you portray yourself as a man? A woman? A Jew? A Muslim? You would indeed be correct in choosing one or more of these terms. They may indeed serve as accurate descriptions of certain aspects of your life. But you are more than that. You are a human being. What does it mean to be human?

The definition of humanity can be unveiled by examining the Biblical account of creation. When God created mankind, He formed the first human being as a composite of both man and woman. Only later was this quintessential human split into two distinct entities. Because a man is not just a man and a woman is not just a woman, these distinctions function only as a secondary reality. They are first and foremost one and the same -- human. And to be human is to be formed in God's image. Being human transcends gender, race, color, or creed. When one identifies oneself as human, one identifies with the innermost aspect of his or her self. And that aspect is uniform between all people, regardless of environment or history.

To be human is to be a partner with God in creation. It is to be an essential part of God's eternal plan to transform the world. It doesn't matter whether you are strong or weak, male or female, black or white; these are only facets through which your humanity is expressed.

Both the competition of the sexes and the friction between religions stem from the mistaken perception that one group is more human than the next. But when it comes to humanity, each and every individual is both equal and unique. No two people are identical, for to be human is to have a mission that only you can accomplish.

No two missions are alike; your job has been designed specifically for you. There will never be another task quite like it, nor will there be anyone in the world who can perfect it better than you. And you have all the necessary tools to complete the task G-d has prepared for you.

We don't all need to belong to the same religion. Women don't need to emulate men. It doesn't even matter that some people are born intellectuals while others struggle to acquire knowledge. Just do what you need to do and trust that you have what it takes to make a difference. Appreciate the fact that you are a human being. You have a purpose. You have a mission. And you are exactly who you need to be.