What does it mean to be human?

27 September 2016

‘What does it mean to be human?’ Actor Edgar Ramirez explains in his speech for the ‘HeforShe-turns-two’ event the importance of feelings by asking this significant question. After all we, as human’s, all have feelings. So “how does a being who feels so deeply, as we all do as humans, thrive in a culture that discourages feelings?”

A reality, not only important for women, but even more so for men and boys.


Our emotions are a powerful tool that help us to survive and thrive in our life.

They tell us what is important for us and what’s not. They show us if our boundaries are crossed. They help us understand and learn. They make us independent, strong and empathetic. All key elements in living a life as a human being.

Learning how to deal with your emotions and feelings is essential in every child’s upbringing and education. Wouldn’t we all like to feel independent, strong and able to deal with life’s challenges?

That is what feeling can bring you. That is what feeling can do for every man, every boy, every woman and every girl.

That is what feeling can do for every human.


HeforShe is a UN Women initiative to create a gender equal world. As they say; “it’s not just a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue”.

The transcripts of the speech are available in different languages.
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Sensitief zijn en je emoties voelen is sterk en positief. Maar in onze samenleving vinden wij vaak het tegenovergestelde. Al lange tijd slaan we de plank volledig mis. We komen er steeds meer achter dat niet voelen en niet over je gevoelens praten juist voor problemen als stress, depressies en ongezonde keuzes zorgt. En dat sensitief zijn een sterke eigenschap is waar we veel meer mee kunnen. Door mijn verhalen te delen wil ik je laten zien dat sensitief zijn en je lastige emoties aangaan zoveel sterker is dan niet voelen en dat we als sensitief mens (wat we allemaal zijn) gewoon mogen Zijn.

About me
Being sensitive and feeling your emotions is powerful and positive. But for centuries we’re thinking quite the opposite. We’ve been wrong all this time. We are starting to understand that not feeling and avoiding to talk about our feelings is what is causing our problems (stress, depression, unhealthy choices). We now also know that being sensitive is more than emotions and that it’s a quality that can help us in many more ways. By sharing my own stories I’d love to show you that being sensitive and feeling your difficult emotions is much stronger than not feeling at all and that as a sensitive being (which we all are) we can just Be.
All original stories (and some more) were published on the Dutch side of this website. Please check the main menu.
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