Cougars must learn how to be Human


Humans are social animals. The only problem is that we aren’t taught how to be effective at being “social.”


Regular social interaction is key to a healthy life. Thanks to technology and social norms, however, many of us lack such regular interactions. 


I am one of those people. I used to wonder throughout my elementary, middle and high school  years if something was “wrong” with me. Perhaps I’m just ugly, I would think. Or maybe I’m just inherently-unlikeable. Or perhaps, I’m just not putting in the effort to be “social.” 


I’ve come to think since those years that I am missing something: A clear understanding of how to be “social” as a member of society. Without it, I floundered, feeling ever more lonely and isolated despite being surrounded by others. Many feelings develop over time in such a state. Loneliness ensues, feelings of inadequacy, the fear of dying alone, the elevated probability of developing into a beta male (i.e. being submissive, having an inferiority complex…) and many others.


Most, if not all, of the above thoughts and feelings (and several more we don’t have the space to include here) are shared in the psychological profiles of mass murderers. 


The question then is, what do we do about this pandemic of social ineptitude? How many, of all the cases possible, are not just because of mental illness? Developmental defect? Something else beyond the control of growth and self-improvement? 


To combat the ill effects of an inability or poor understanding of being effectively “social,” the CSUSM campus needs to develop and grow a free program or class dedicated to education and activities promoting humanity. No, I don’t mean a humanities course or something else that is already covered by a General Education requirement for a degree offered at Cal State. I’m talking about a program/class that will foster and develop what it means to be human; a social focal point not filled with the many existing friendships that normally, at least to me, make trying to make new friends without knowing any at any other event, hard. It would be a place to learn to connect with and heal the sense of humanity within oneself. 


You may be asking yourself, why would I need to learn how to be human any more than how “human” we all already are? Aren’t you just overblowing the simple matter of just making friends and “being cool?” No, I’m not and it’s not that simple, really. Remember when I mentioned earlier that, despite being social animals, we as humans weren’t taught how to be good “people?” Put into other words, we don’t inherently know how to be what we are in an effective manner out of the womb. We must be taught and I believe that it is this aspect of being human that many of us were insufficiently taught in our most-formative years (i.e. childhood). 


Due to this disconnect, society has unwittingly encouraged social isolation, social ineptitude, cruelty, a fundamental lack of empathy, an inability to make/maintain friendships and other factors shared by the mass shooters of recent past and other murderers as well.


To reiterate, I believe a structured program/organized activity, as loosely proposed here, would help to both instruct how to be “social” as well as avoid the above as much as possible. Building strong friendships while learning how to think and interact healthily as part of these relationships and in society, in general, would do so much good. 


In closing, perhaps I am being too sunshine-and-roses here. Perhaps I am being overly-simplistic in my view of the world and how to contribute to healing/preventing the scars evident in the people who do evil. 


But if this can help change the mind of just one student thinking of doing something drastic with irreversible consequences, as the Chabad of Poway synagogue shooter (who was a student here at Cal State) did earlier this year, I can rest easy. I did good.