Uniqueness of Humans by Robert Sapolsky

by Delete Me Please

Robert Sapolsky is a professor of Neurology at Stanford University. In a Class Day Lecture given in 2009, he outlines the things which makes us different from other higher animals. And in most cases – the cases for empathy, culture, aggression, politics etc – were all found to be in other primates, albeit in a less complex form.

However, to Professor Sapolsky, there is one aspect of human life that is very much removed from the other primates; what is said in the next three minutes is going to completely change my life, and is one of the most beautiful, inspiring, encouraging sentence my ears have ever received.

What makes us unique is the fact that we have the capability to gain the will and strength to do the things which are evidently impossible.  Also, he argues that the more impossible something seems, the more the moral imperative there is to do it. As educated people who have wised up, a clear conclusion is reached – at the end of the day, it is really  for one person to make a difference – but the more clearly absolutely utterly irrevocably unchangably clear it is, that it is impossible for you to make a difference and make the world better, the more you must.

There is nobody out there who is in a better position, to consistently sustain the contradiction through your entire life, and use it as a moral imperative. So do it, good luck and have good life in the process.


And this property to uphold irrational impossible believes along with rational, contradicting ones. It’s called faith – the only thing which separates us from other animals – faith.

If you were an ape, then no, this and that might not be impossible, but you are human, and you have the power to defy your own beliefs to do the things you cannot do. So the next time you think something is too hard to do, just remember – you are human, you can do it.

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