The more I’ve witnessed everything that humans are capable of, the more I feel assured that human beings are the vulnerable Titans.
There are few things in this world more paradoxical than human beings.
We are at once all-powerful and incredibly fragile. We are at once everything and nothing. We are at once the hero and the person who needs to be saved. We are at once in control and at the mercy of others.
As is the case with many instances of the human condition, this contrast is wonderfully difficult to accept and understand. Though this contrast is sometimes heartbreaking, it is also what makes our existence so fascinating.
The longer I’ve been on this earth, the more I’ve realized how vulnerable every single one of us is. And although it’s difficult, there’s nothing wrong with being vulnerable. But being vulnerable is often terrifying and distressing and inconvenient and uncomfortable. At the same time, it is also infinitely beautiful. Our vulnerability is as much a part of who we are as any other characteristic that all humans share.
No one can exist alone. Everyone needs help. Everyone is vulnerable. Even those who seem the strongest are vulnerable and fragile. Sometimes, those who seem the strongest are the most vulnerable and fragile of all.
We all need each other.
Even — and often times especially — those who claim they don’t need anyone.
But more than that:
- We want each other.
- We want to be accepted.
- We want to be helped up when we fall down.
- We want support.
- We want encouragement.
- We want a connection to other human beings.
- We want to be reassured.
- We want to be comforted.
On many days, it would seem far easier for us to exist without these needs and wants that are so directly dependent upon other people. But that’s just part of living the human paradox. What is easy and what makes the most sense is usually not the way things are.
The more I’ve witnessed everything that humans are capable of, the more I feel assured that human beings are the vulnerable Titans. Capable of so much, yet vulnerable beyond measure. In all our glory we are at once infinitely powerful and in desperate need of help and compassion from our fellow humans. We are living proof that these seemingly contradictory characteristics are not contradictory at all.
As much as we would like to be entirely self-sufficient, we depend upon our fellow human beings. For support. For encouragement. For a shoulder to cry on. For a reminder that we are not alone in this world. All things that, no matter how powerful we are, we cannot obtain without the help of others.
The greatest irony of human existence is that we are immeasurably beautiful, but we need others to validate our beauty. We are immeasurably talented, but we still doubt ourselves. We are all blessed with gifts we cannot fully appreciate until others help us appreciate them. Until we have the perspective to see ourselves through the eyes of others, we may know who or what we are in the depths of our soul, but we still need others to help us realize the heights of who and what we truly are.
- Without others, we are incomplete.
- Without others, we would be lost.
- Without others, our vulnerability would tear us apart.
- Without others, our vulnerability would not be crucial to our survival; it would be the reason for our downfall.
- Without others, we would never become who and what we truly are.
Given all of this, human beings are truly the vulnerable Titans. Capable of so much yet so dependent upon our fellow human beings. Though it can be an uncomfortable existence, we are exactly where we need to be.
Originally appeared at A Medium Corporation. Reprinted with permission.
Photo credit: Flickr/Darinka Maja