Becoming It

I-It: when we treat human beings as an object, or as a means to an end.

I-You relationships: being in relationship with others that allows them to show up as human beings – undefinable, vast, essentially unknowable.

It’s not so much that you choose consciously whether you’re going to be a fully human ‘I’ in the world or live as ‘it’. It’s rather that you’ll find you’re becoming one or the other through the way you’re already living. In other words, the way you get to be in the world is shaped over time by your actions: your habits and practices.

Our culture provides many more ways to be ‘it’ than ‘I’:

driving yourself relentlessly, always on, never stopping

not taking care of sleep sufficiently to stay well and energised

omitting nurture from your life: receiving love, touch, being in beauty, encountering art

equating your value with what you possess: how much money, what kind of house, what job title, what status

worrying, feeling deflated if you’re not always producing results

distancing yourself from supportive human relationships: leaving out the cultivation of family, neighbours, community

distracting yourself endlessly from encountering your own feelings of uncertainty and anxiety: numbing yourself with TV, internet, social media

You open up the possibility of being ‘I’ or ‘it’ not so much by how you think but by how you actually live, and by how you work, speak, and relate.

Once you see this, you’ll see that you have an enormous opportunity to influence who you turn out to be. And with this opportunity comes an enormous responsibility too, because if you’re actively working on being an ‘it’ in the world we all lose out on your courage, ingenuity, and contribution.