The Essence of Being Human

It is in loving (or not loving) that we are (or are not) human. It is in heeding the call to love – in making life-affirming connections – that we become human. . . . . Loving is not merely one thing among others that we are called to do – an extraordinary achievement, a heroic gesture that completes ordinary acts and raises them to a higher level. Love is not an additive, a spiritual supplement reserved for saints. . . . Loving is of the essence of being human, the connective tissue of reality, the oxygen of life.

James H. Olthuis in The Beautiful Risk (quoted in David Benner’s Surrender to Love pg 97)


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  1. “Loving is the essence of being human….the connective tissue of reality, the oxygen of life.”

    Makes me think of how connected we are to others …our physical connection to our mate….our umbilical cords connecting us to our mothers….our need to be held and nurtured….all through our lives….physically and emotionally…our connection to God…

    so simple, so base….so LOVE…ly…