Metamorphosis: Being Human

Recent years have seen a proliferation of books, movies and weekly television shows involving vampires, werewolves, witches and ghosts.  I “enjoy” one of these shows.  Being Human, originally a British series, is about a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost who share a house and, ultimately, their strange lives together.

Each character, episode by episode, changes back and forth from apparently human to apparently vampire, or werewolf, or ghost.  The struggles they face are all about one thing: being human.  The attraction of the show for me (beware: it is for mature audiences only, and the weak of stomach should not watch) is that in the midst of the way-beyond-normal events of the story, the characters are living out very normal human questions and struggles.  Being Human.  That’s what it’s really all about.  In fact, the vampire said in a recent episode  about his only purpose:  How do I become the human being I once was?

In that same episode, the ghost character realizes that the vampire is about to self destruct, and in a moment driven by love for him, she gives the essence of who she is to help him turn back into a human being.  Her sacrifice made in love for her friend helps him become human.  That, really, is the simple message of this otherwise extraordinary show:  sacrifice in the name of love is what helps us all become more human, more real, more true.

We all go through these daily transformations, albeit without real fangs, claws and supernatural powers.  We transition from some of our best moments to some of our worst moments, and we learn from them both.  Fear drives us to dark places.  Love leads us to heroic places.

One of the characters in Being Human observes: Somewhere along the way what “home” means changes for all of us.  It stops being a house we were raised in and becomes where we are right now–with all of our daily metamorphoses, some from fear, some from love.  They all make up the home of here, now.  Another one understands:  when it’s all said and done you realize that what really matters was what and who you loved, and that love takes you home.

To ask the question a little differently: How can I be the human being that I really am? What loves bring me “home” every day?

Bob Patrick

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