Life is Long Journey Between Human Being and Being Humane

Essay on the Topic “Life is Long Journey Between Human Being and Being Humane” asked in UPSC Civil Services Main Examination 2020 is explained below. Read the complete essay article.

Hello Friends, today we will explore the essay topic name “Life is Long Journey Between Human Being and Being Humane” which had been asked in the UPSC Civil Services Main Examination 2020 (Section-A, Topic No. 1). Let’s start now.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill


Life is an extraordinary journey, filled with ups and downs, triumphs and tribulations, and countless opportunities for growth and self-discovery. At its core, this journey is an exploration of what it truly means to be human and, more importantly, to be humane. Being human simply implies existing as a member of the Homo sapiens species, but being humane encompasses a broader perspective—a reflection of our capacity for empathy, compassion, and kindness towards others. This essay delves into the profound nature of this journey, examining how individuals can evolve from mere human beings into exemplars of humanity.

1. The Essence of Being Human

Being human encompasses both the biological and cognitive aspects that distinguish us from other living beings. As social creatures, we possess the ability to communicate, reason, and form complex relationships. Our unique blend of emotions, intellect, and consciousness shapes our experiences, influences our choices, and ultimately defines our humanity. However, being human does not automatically make us humane; it is a separate path that requires conscious effort and reflection.

2. The Evolution of Empathy

Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, is a vital trait that distinguishes humane individuals. It is a fundamental aspect of our humanity that can be cultivated and strengthened through personal experiences and deliberate practice. As Nelson Mandela once said, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” This quote illustrates the transformative power of empathy, transcending boundaries and fostering compassion.

3. Compassion and Kindness

Compassion and kindness are the natural byproducts of an empathetic mindset. These virtues encompass a genuine concern for the well-being of others and the willingness to act selflessly to alleviate their suffering. Mahatma Gandhi eloquently expressed this sentiment when he said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Compassion and kindness elevate us beyond our individual needs and connect us to the shared humanity that unites us all.

4. Overcoming the Ego

One of the greatest challenges on the journey from human beings to being humane lies in overcoming the ego—the self-centered aspect of our nature. The ego often blinds us to the needs and perspectives of others, perpetuating divisions and conflicts. Through self-reflection and introspection, we can gradually transcend this self-centeredness and cultivate a broader understanding of our place in the world. As C.G. Jung noted, “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people.” Acknowledging our own flaws and biases allows us to approach others with greater humility and understanding.

5. The Power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness plays a pivotal role in the journey towards being humane. It liberates both the forgiver and the forgiven, breaking the cycle of resentment and fostering healing and reconciliation. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a symbol of forgiveness, proclaimed, “Without forgiveness, there’s no future.” By letting go of past grievances, we open ourselves up to a future filled with compassion and understanding.

6. Embracing Diversity

An essential aspect of being humane is embracing diversity in all its forms. Our world is a tapestry of cultures, languages, beliefs, and backgrounds. When we acknowledge and appreciate these differences, we create an environment that fosters inclusivity and respect. As Maya Angelou wisely stated, “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity, there is beauty, and there is strength.” Embracing diversity enriches our lives and broadens our perspective, making us more compassionate and empathetic individuals.

7. The Ripple Effect

The journey from human beings to being humane has a profound ripple effect that extends beyond our immediate sphere of influence. Small acts of kindness and compassion can ignite a chain reaction, inspiring others to follow suit. As Albert Schweitzer noted, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” Our actions and behaviours have the power to shape the world around us, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of those we encounter.

8. The Rewards of Being Humane

Being humane not only benefits others but also nourishes our own souls, bringing a profound sense of fulfilment, purpose, and a deeper connection to the world. As we extend kindness and compassion, we discover that the rewards of this journey go beyond measure. As Helen Keller stated, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”

9. Continual Growth

The transformation from human beings to being humane is an ongoing journey of continual growth and refinement. With each experience, encounter, and interaction, we are presented with the opportunity to expand our capacity for empathy and compassion. As Alan Watts said, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”


Life is indeed a remarkable journey, where the path to being humane requires deliberate choices, constant self-reflection, and a commitment to personal growth. As we strive to cultivate empathy, compassion, and kindness, we transcend the limitations of mere human existence and embrace our shared humanity. In the words of Mother Teresa, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” It is through these small acts of love and kindness that we transform our lives and the lives of those around us, creating a world that is more compassionate, understanding, and humane.


Q: What is the difference between being human and being humane?

Ans: Being human refers to belonging to the Homo sapiens species and encompasses the biological and cognitive aspects that distinguish us from other living beings. On the other hand, being humane extends beyond mere existence as a human and encompasses qualities such as empathy, compassion, and kindness toward others. It involves actively cultivating and demonstrating these virtues in our interactions and behaviours.

Q: How can empathy be developed?

Ans: Empathy can be developed through personal experiences, deliberate practice, and conscious effort. To cultivate empathy, one can engage in active listening, try to understand others’ perspectives, and imagine themselves in someone else’s situation. Reading literature, engaging in diverse conversations, and practising mindfulness can also help enhance empathy.

Q: Why is forgiveness important in the journey towards being humane?

Ans: Forgiveness is crucial in the journey towards being humane because it promotes healing, reconciliation, and personal growth. By forgiving others, we release ourselves from the burden of resentment and create an opportunity for understanding and compassion. Forgiveness allows us to move forward and build stronger relationships based on empathy and understanding.

Q: How does embracing diversity contribute to being humane?

Ans: Embracing diversity is an integral part of being humane as it fosters inclusivity, respect, and understanding. By appreciating and valuing the differences in cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds, we create an environment where empathy and compassion can flourish. Embracing diversity broadens our perspectives and promotes a more compassionate and accepting society.

Q: What is the ripple effect in the journey towards being humane?

Ans: The ripple effect refers to the idea that our actions and behaviours have the power to inspire and influence others. Small acts of kindness and compassion can create a chain reaction, motivating others to exhibit similar behaviour. By leading by example and demonstrating empathy and kindness, we can inspire positive change in the world around us.

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