What is Human?

And these are not things to be ashamed of; they are deeply human. They are a kind of “human condition,” basic facts about being human. Every person has several hidden construction sites, and every person has at least one central construction site of their character. (And some people are even specially gifted with a whole bunch—they are “highly gifted,” so to speak.) It is also deeply human not to see the central construction site—or the other ones, either. And it is just as deeply human to run away from the central construction site, even when only unconsciously sensed, and to then be successful with several other construction sites, but not to tackle the main, decisive construction site. But it is also human, meaning humanly possible, to recognize our own construction sites—perhaps even the central one—and not to run away. Certainly, there do exist such things as strong-willed personalities who owe their strength of initiative not merely to talent or some unconscious escapism but actually to their own work on themselves, right in those crucial places where the work hurts right down to the bone.


From Valentin Wember, Willenserziehung—60 pädagogische Angaben Rudolf Steiners [Education of the Will—60 Pedagogical Indications from Rudolf Steiner,] Tübingen 2015.

Translation Joshua Kelberman
Graphic Sofia Lismont

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