Being human is itself difficult, and therefore all kinds of settlements (except dream cities) have problems. —Jane Jacobs—
A sure cure for rage at the minor irritations of daily life is to sit back from the traffic jam, the broken appointment, the lost vital information, and say, “Being human is itself difficult.” It may not cure our frustrations for long, but it’s worth practicing.
Many of our troubles stem from forgetting just how difficult it is. We often have impossibly high standards for behavior, especially our own. We are complicated, marvelous creatures who have many skills, but we thwart our own capacity for enjoyment by expecting that we will be perfect. Being human is difficult; we perform it imperfectly. And when we combine our effort with others’—building a building, performing a play—we multiply our imperfections as well as our skills. Yet we need each other. If we can detach ourselves from anger and disappointment and reflect on how wonderful it is that we can do anything at all, we may remember to love ourselves and others for our human complexity and simplicity. Nobody’s perfect; such is the nature of my humanity