How to Human: Instructions on Living

Instructions on Living
Warnings, Subsection B: "Probably Should Do Your Best to Avoid:" Overvaluing money. Leather in the summer.

Re: Alpha Omega-Omicron Delta Models 235-1185, equipped for centuries spanning XX – XXII [last updated for consistent decadal vernacular 3/17/2021]

Dear Lovely Human:

It is with deep regret that we write to inform you of an inadvertent oversight in our delivery process. We unintentionally overlooked the inclusion of your "Manual for Being Human" upon your arrival to Earth™. We only recently realized our error when a quality-control engineer tuned into "2020" for random assessment, and we became rapidly aware of our blunder.

click to enlarge How to Human: Instructions on Living
Inga N. Laurent

We take great pride in our product, and moving forward we pledge to take all necessary steps to prevent this situation from arising again. Rest assured that your manufacturing was flawless. We ensure every model possesses the essential parts needed for survival — hearts, tiny eye lashes, chompers, belly buttons (both innies and outies), petite pinky toenails, nasal hair filter-wisps, etc. Please be on the lookout for "The Manual." In the meantime, enjoy a sneak peek at some of the previous most referenced sections.

INTRODUCTION. Welcome to Humaning 101! While every model is 100 percent unique, you are all so (alternatively: also) remarkably similar. For example, every human possesses a mix of compounds, including oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen ("literally" star stuff). Beyond the base level, y'all are #blessed with an infusion of additional components that we like to call "the spice of life" — a dash of sass, a pinch of independence, a touch of humility, a heap of humor and voilà — expectus persona.

With infinite possibilities, no two individuals ever turn out entirely the same; however, all are built to be highly compatible. The trick is finding your people — those you positively feel pulled toward. This, of course, is dependent upon your unique, signature mélange, but communication with the well-matched will come remarkably easily. Post-interaction, you may feel energetic, valued, or fully seen (cross-reference sections on besties, soul/swole mates, work spouses, coffee shop kinships, "The One" and people you "haven't seen in ages but you pick up right where you left off").

RECOMMENDATIONS. Section 131 (Maintenance): Taking care of yourself should be the main priority. You are most useful when properly aligned. Nutrition and nourishment (of body and soul) will be important choices. Many substances appear to provide sustenance but are lacking. Also, be sure to water yourself daily. Whether it's showering, brusha-brusha-brushing those chompers, drinking, or the occasional recreating in lakes, rivers, oceans, bathtubs or puddles, water is life and it does a body good.

Section 451: (Love): Many find this purposeful and perplexing. We won't ruin the fun with too many words. Suffice it to say our general belief has been unsurprisingly summarized in a TED Talk — "We have to know ourselves. What do you love? And if you get close to what you love, who you are is revealed to you and it expands."

Section 561: (Honesty): We cannot stress this one enough. Over millennia, many forms of deception have been devised, which is ironic because models are furnished with all foundational tools to be forthright. Pro tip: Ask for what you need and tell people you love them. Never make another guess at something significant.

Section 9201: (Maximization): Once operational, please share yourself fully. Art, creativity and expression are crucial because there is really no one like you! (Cross-reference Alan Watts' translation of Ancient Eastern Philosophy [AEP 1819]: "See, the source of all light is in the eye. If there were no eyes in this world, the sun would not be light. You evoke light out of the universe. ... You being this organism, call into being this whole universe of light and color and hardness and heaviness and everything.")

Section 202166: (Feelings): We gave you feelers for a reason. Use the full range of emotions, please. Quit being so judgmental. There are no "wrong" or "bad" feelings; they just are. Think of them as information. Our plan was immensely intentional.

REBOOTING. Some report feeling "stuck" at various points throughout the experience. Time has suggested the simple seems most capable of sustaining the sublime. Suggestions for altering perspective include but are not limited to: rest, reading, a song you love on loop, belly laughter, a nestle or nuzzle in the crook of the neck, that good pen glide, helping another — especially baes, babies and pets — gratitude, and looking up at starry night skies or sunbeams streaming through cloud-covers.

WARNINGS. You are endowed with free will, so we don't dabble much here. People are surprised we have so few prohibitions. Alas, we must trust and you'll find you must learn many of these things all on your own:

Subsection A: "I Wouldn't Recommend It:" Touching a hot stove. Being a workaholic.

Subsection B: "Probably Should Do Your Best to Avoid:" Overvaluing money. Leather in the summer.

Subsection C: "Will Cause Severe Damage:" Circumvent behaviors that disavow the design (cross-reference phobias and -isms). We put enormous energy into crafting billions of signature mélanges. To renounce that craftsmanship is next level ill-advised. Period.

Again, we apologize for our failure to deliver. We are aware that maneuvering on Earth™ sans a manual can cause severe side effects, such as copious amounts of tears, anxiety and angst, malaise and ennui, multiple overdoses on sugar or a variety of other substances, Sisyphean struggles, egotism and hubris.

Good luck out there!

The Home Team ♦

Inga N. Laurent is a local legal educator and a Fulbright scholar. She is deeply curious about the world and its constructs and delights in uncovering common points of connection that unite our shared but unique human experiences.