What it means to be truly Human

When "human being" is read, an author is typically distinguishing people (the species homo sapiens, or the "thinking man"*) from other mammals. And yet, while we humans are conscious of our existence -- a trait that does appear to set us apart from other entities on this planet, when this website mentions "Human Beings" (capitalized), it refers to something much more.

Anyone can go about their day in a "normal" fashion -- striving to maximize their own comfort while minimizing their own suffering, and qualify as a "human being." To be a Human Being, however, a person must also actualize the other trait that seems unique to our species: the conscience that morally encourages us to be selflessly kind. Even though it goes against our more primal survival-based instincts, we can choose to engage actions for the betterment of others, even when doing so puts us in personal jeopardy. Such choices override the self-centered programs of our "lower", reptile brain (which constantly desires for us to merely "survive and procreate") in order to bravely act with compassion for the betterment of another (or humanity in general). And it is this potential that, when actualized, allows one to know what it means to be truly Human.

*from Webster's 3rd New International Unabridged Dictionary (1986)