What is “Human?”


by Tommy J. Charles

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe. -Albert Einstein
After Einstein’s death in 1955, pathologist Thomas Harvey dissected his brain. The process took three months, and Dr. Harvey kept many of the slides for himself. The brain was of average weight, but was found to contain more glial cells than normal. According to many sources, Einstein’s greatest regret was that his ground-breaking discoveries were weaponized.

Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think. -Thomas Alva Edison
Near the end of his life, Edison expressed regret that he hadn't acknowledged Nikola Tesla’s innate genius. During their collaboration, Edison had several of the younger inventor’s projects shut down.

Humans aren't as good as we should be in our capacity to empathize with feelings and thoughts of others, be they humans or other animals on Earth. -Neil deGrasse Tyson
Because almost half of Pluto’s mass is ice, Tyson argued that it isn't a true planet. Pluto is now just another icy rock near the Oort cloud.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. ― Martin Luther King, Jr.
Although only 39 at the time of his death, autopsy revealed that Dr. King’s heart was aged significantly. This was likely due to stress. King’s loved ones called him by his given name, Michael.

We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom. -Leo Tolstoy

When Tolstoy, technically a Russian noble, gave most of his wealth to local beggars, his wife Sofya left him. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential novelists of all time.


People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. -Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. Her family was quite well off. She left home at the age of 18 to join the Sisters of Loreto.

I am one of those who think like Nobel, that humanity will draw more good than evil from new discoveries. -Marie Curie
Marie Curie and her husband, Pierre Curie, discovered many radioactive elements. However, their work took a heavy toll. Curie died of aplastic anemia in 1934.

Each person must live their life as a model for others.” ― Rosa Parks
Parks is known for her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. The section she was sitting in was open to both whites and blacks. When that section filled and left a white man standing, Parks refused to yield her seat — and contributed to changing the course of human history.

“Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.” ―Virginia Woolf

Though she had trouble articulating her thoughts as a child, Virginia Wolf went on to become one of the most influencial female writers of her generation.


“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt brought the role of first lady into the twentieth century by appearing in press conferences and hosting her own radio show.


We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet. -Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking conceptualized and popularized the notion of the black hole. Hawking was nominated for knighthood in the ’90s, but he refused.

Our future will be shaped by the assumptions we make about who we are and what we can be. -Rosabeth M. Kanter
Rosabeth M. Kanter’s views on corporate culture, and her books on the same, are considered cornerstones of modern business.

You can get in touch with me on Twitter if you’re so inclined.


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