• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Flickr
  • YouTube
Thinking Out Loud

Humanity 101

by Michael Jinkins | Nov 24, 2014
Thank You GodIf there’s a class somewhere that teaches us what it means to be human, the centerpiece of the curriculum surely is the study of gratitude. Learning to be thankful is basic to being a person. It’s “Humanity 101.” Thankfulness is the natural impulse of the healthy heart. It is the appropriate reciprocal response of the person who is fully alive. We are never too young to enter this course of study.

In his new book for children, Dr. Brad Wigger, the Second Presbyterian Church Professor of Christian Education here at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, teaches this course. And, along with Jago, the illustrator of this wonderful book, Brad teaches the course, not from the sometimes isolating heights of a lecturer’s desk, but sitting on the floor surrounded by children. Thank You, God (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2014) ushers us into the sanity and wisdom of being grateful for all of life. There could hardly be a better preparation for Thanksgiving.

“Thank you, God,” we read, while our eyes are dazzled with visions of sun, space, earth and stars. “Thank you, God, for the sun smiling on our earth to wake up the day, for the light opening my eyes to see all you have made.”

“Thank you, God, for family and friends, … for home, … for meals together.” Thank you, God, for learning, and stories, and singing, and love, for all that lies outside and in, for activities and rest, and everything in between.

There have been a lot of debates over the years about what makes humans human. Even the Psalmist feels compelled to ask of God, “What are human beings that you are mindful of them?” (Psalm 8:4) Many answers to this question are really pretty reductionistic. While Shakespeare’s response in Hamlet soars (“What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a god!”), other answers to the question veer to the ridiculous. One college textbook, tongue in cheek, describes the human being as “an ingenious assembly of portable plumbing.”

I would venture to say, however, that beyond the tool-making and ability to speak and reason, that which makes us truly human is our capacity for gratitude. Thankfulness flows from a right understanding of our indebtedness to God for breath, and love, and life itself. Thankfulness is evidence of a human being fully aware of his or her dependence on another (an Other). In other words, thankfulness is a concrete demonstration of genuine humility, and humility is the essence of humanness.

This week I hope we will all go “back to school” and enroll with children of all ages in “Humanity 101,” and with Brad learn to say, “Thank you, God … for this day, for life, for your love holding us together. Amen.”

137 comments

Leave a comment
  1. jamsmalik | Mar 28, 2017
    Dimebag Darrell Rig Rundown. Contrasted with other guitar players of his stature, Dimebag utilized a straightforward setup. His selection of guitars and amps boiled down to maybe a couple models which he used his whole career. Some guitar players will utilize many guitar models from different makers, Dimebag did not. He knew what he wanted and didn't compromise. Dimebag Darrell Rig Rundown
  2. Alex | Mar 26, 2017
    That's look into you ought to special groundwork ahead of when authoring. Shall be likely that will even more alluring blog post through this industry. essay writing service reviews
  3. sassi | Mar 25, 2017
    It's at the same time a decent place which i extremely savored browsing. Isn't day to day that provide the prospect to observe an item. cross border wealth management
  4. Jennifer | Mar 24, 2017

    omg guys you have to check out this site for the - best jogging stroller reviews!

    click here --> - www.bestjoggingstroller.reviews

  5. juan juergens | Mar 23, 2017
    i was just browsing along and came upon your blog. just wanted to say good blog and this article really helped me.digital heat transfers
  6. juan juergens | Mar 23, 2017
    I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.steelframe
  7. juan juergens | Mar 23, 2017
    I have been checking out a few of your stories and i can state pretty good stuff. I will definitely bookmark your blogsmartkitchenpicks.com
  8. juan juergens | Mar 23, 2017
    This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. Saraybosna Üniversitesi
  9. juan juergens | Mar 23, 2017
    This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post.!  Samata
  10. juan juergens | Mar 23, 2017
    Interesting post. I Have Been wondering about this issue, so thanks for posting. Pretty cool post.It 's really very nice and Useful post.ThanksBangla Health
  11. sassi | Mar 22, 2017
    It is likewise an amazing write-up i always definitely relished examining. It's not necessarily day-to-day i always develop the opportunity to discover anything. best reviews
  12. sassi | Mar 22, 2017
    To get the most out of FIFA Ultimate Team, you need to actually build a quality team. That takes coins, and coins are hard to earn. Pay attention to cuts and losses during transfers with our ea tax calculator. The FUT calculator can be found at fifatools.co.uk  fifa tools
  13. sassi | Mar 21, 2017
    I've helped hundreds of people over the last 15 years to stop debt collectors from constant harassment, making harassing phone calls and sending debt collection letters. After reading the fair debt collection practices act (FDCPA) and the fair credit reporting act (FCRA), I obtained a wealth of information and knowledge about federal law, which most consumers in the United States are completely unaware of. I've used it for many years to help my friends, family members, clients and myself as well. Now, I'm here to help YOU! stop debt collectors
  14. sassi | Mar 20, 2017
    I've helped hundreds of people over the last 15 years to stop debt collectors from constant harassment, making harassing phone calls and sending debt collection letters. After reading the fair debt collection practices act (FDCPA) and the fair credit reporting act (FCRA), I obtained a wealth of information and knowledge about federal law, which most consumers in the United States are completely unaware of. I've used it for many years to help my friends, family members, clients and myself as well. Now, I'm here to help YOU! debt collection agency harassment
  15. sassi | Mar 20, 2017
    I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work! rome taxi service
  16. asd | Mar 20, 2017
    i read a lot of stuff and i found that the way of writing to clearifing that exactly want to say was very good so i am impressed and ilike to come again in future..  avaya pabx DUBAI
  17. sassi | Mar 19, 2017
    This is exactly equally an excellent content i quite really liked checking. This isn't all the time which i possess potential to work out an issue. Top Home Appliances
  18. Patrick | Mar 16, 2017

    This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion:

    <a href="https://technofix.fr/">depannage ordinateur </a>

  19. jhon | Mar 15, 2017
    Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer!..profiili kuvaus
  20. jhon | Mar 15, 2017
    This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post! taruhan casino
  21. jhon | Mar 15, 2017
    This blog is so nice to me. I will keep on coming here again and again. Visit my link as well..sconto just eat
  22. jhon | Mar 15, 2017
    This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good workbios chip hp notebook
  23. jhon | Mar 15, 2017
    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info.new songs download
  24. Yochi | Mar 13, 2017


    Thank you for this opportunity you offer us to show you some important thiings. poste à souder mig

  25. Aristide Doe | Mar 13, 2017
  26. sadasd | Mar 12, 2017
    This one is good. keep up the good work!.. Top PTC Site
  27. asdasd | Mar 11, 2017

    Your blog provided us with valuable information to work with. Each &  every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging.

    essay writers

  28. Salman | Mar 09, 2017
    The website is looking bit flashy and it catches the visitors eyes. Design is pretty simple and a good user friendly interface windstream energy.
  29. jamsmalik | Mar 06, 2017
    Your content is nothing short of brilliant in many ways.  I think this is engaging and eye-opening material.  Thank you so much for caring about your content and your readers. des moines tattoo
  30. jhon | Mar 06, 2017
    Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it. 
    <a href='http://acourseinmiraclesnow.com'>ken wapnick</a>

  31. jhon | Mar 06, 2017
    Super-Duper site! I am Loving it!! Will come back again, Im taking your feed also, Thanks.david hoffmeister
  32. jhon | Mar 06, 2017
    No doubt this is an excellent post I got a lot of knowledge after reading good luck. Theme of blog is excellent there is almost everything to read, Brilliant post.steam key
  33. jhon | Mar 06, 2017
    Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts.Casino sbobet
  34. jhon | Mar 06, 2017
    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks...sslc result 2017
  35. jhon | Mar 06, 2017
    Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have.online
  36. Sample | Mar 04, 2017
    Nice Post, keep sharing like this. <a href="www.wikipedia.org">wikipedia</a>
  37. Sample | Mar 04, 2017
    Nice Post, keep sharing like this.
     <a href="http://www.wikipedia.org" target="_blank">wikipedia</a>
  38. Sample | Mar 04, 2017
    Nice Post, keep sharing like this. For Blogspot <a href="http://www.wikipedia.org" rel="dofollow">Wikipedia</a>
  39. jhon | Mar 02, 2017
    Love to read it,Waiting For More new Update and I Already Read your Recent Post its Great Thanks. Financial accounting
  40. Donald Smith | Mar 01, 2017
  41. jhon | Feb 27, 2017
    I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative..dubai brunch
  42. jhon | Feb 27, 2017
    This was a really great contest and hopefully I can attend the next one. It was alot of fun and I really enjoyed myself..dubai brunch
  43. jhon | Feb 27, 2017
    I haven’t any word to appreciate this post.....Really i am impressed from this post....the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us.experience in dubai
  44. jhon | Feb 27, 2017
    Very useful post. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up.   experience in dubai
  45. sassi | Feb 24, 2017
    Be sure to keep going the terrific job together with That i will enjoy even more to your impressive articles. honest review
  46. jhon | Feb 24, 2017
    I recently found many useful information in your website especially this blog page. Among the lots of comments on your articles. Thanks for sharing.http://goauction1.com/
  47. anisa | Feb 18, 2017
    Wow what a Great Information about World Day its very nice informative post. thanks for the post. Bid4papers.com Review
  48. jhon | Feb 17, 2017
    Very nice article, I enjoyed reading your post, very nice share, I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks!.   http://mmpr89.tumblr.com/
  49. jhon | Feb 17, 2017
    This is highly informatics, crisp and clear. I think that everything has been described in systematic manner so that reader could get maximum information and learn many things. https://spylesy.tumblr.com/
  50. jhon | Feb 17, 2017
    Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article. http://swirledandcurled.tumblr.com/

    Leave a comment

    • 1044 Alta Vista Road |
    • Louisville, KY 40205 |
    • 800.264.1839 |
    • Fax: 502.895.1096 |
    • Site Map
    © Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary