What is the Business of Being Human?
The “business” of being human is a concept that has been explored in literature throughout the ages Charles Dickens, in particular, wrote extensively on the various challenges humans face due to society’s expectations of them. He believed that in order to truly understand the “business” of being human, one must look past the trappings of material life and instead focus on the inner workings of the human psyche. Dickens saw the “business” of being human as a complex, multi-layered endeavor, and his writings are filled with characters who are struggling to balance their inner and outer lives.
At its core, being human is a balancing act between our individual needs and the needs of society. As humans, we are constantly pushed and pulled in different directions by the expectations and obligations of our family, our job, our community, and our culture. The “business” of being human is about finding a way to navigate this internal and external chaos in a way that allows us to remain true to ourselves and our values. We must be able to stand up for ourselves and for what we believe in, while also respecting the needs of others and learning how to compromise where necessary.
The “business” of being human is also about acknowledging our own limitations and recognizing that we are all fragile, fallible beings. As humans, we are always learning and growing, and we must embrace this process rather than expecting perfection. We must learn to accept failure as part of life and use our mistakes as lessons to help us become better versions of ourselves.
The following are five of the best examples of Dickens' exploration of the “business” of being human:
1. David Copperfield: In this novel, Dickens explores the struggle of an orphaned boy to find his place in the world and to make his own way in life. Through David’s story, Dickens teaches us about the importance of resilience, perseverance and courage in the face of adversity.
2. A Tale of Two Cities: In this classic novel, Dickens tells the story of two cities—Paris and London— during the French Revolution. Through the characters in the novel, Dickens examines the human need for justice and the effects of violence and vengeance on society.
3. Great Expectations: In this novel, Dickens looks at the issue of class prejudice and the struggles of individuals who are trying to better themselves by rising above their circumstances. Through the character of Pip, Dickens shows us how ambition, determination, and kindness can triumph over social hierarchy and oppression.
4. Bleak House: This novel explores the corruption and exploitation of the legal system in Victorian England. Dickens examines the impact of poverty, inequality and injustice on the lives of people who are caught up in the legal process.
5. A Christmas Carol: This holiday classic tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old man who is taught the value of kindness, charity and human connection by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Through Scrooge’s story, Dickens demonstrates the power of compassion and love in transforming lives.
In conclusion, the “business” of being human is a complex endeavor that requires a delicate balance of personal desires and social obligations. We must strive to maintain a healthy equilibrium between our individual needs and the needs of society in order to find true happiness and meaning in life. Through his works, Dickens has inspired us to think deeply about the “business” of being human and to strive to be our best selves.