Human Being; Humanity
The Chinese character for human being (人) has been imbued with Chinese humanistic spirit since it was created. In its ancient form, it resembled a man standing with his body slightly bending forward, his hands on his sides, looking modest and polite. Because humans have the ability to think, they understand that an individual is too weak to survive alone and, therefore, they need to cooperate with each other. Ancient Chinese thinkers believed that human beings were one of the three major components of the universe, the other two being heaven and earth. Humanity was the soul of the world; therefore, human beings were the most distinguished among all things. Many ancient concepts, particularly in the political and ethical spheres, were based on this humanistic spirit.
So human beings possess attributes bestowed by heaven and earth. It is an integration of yin and yang, a combination of form and spirit, embodying the five elements of metal, wood, water, fire and soil… Therefore, humanity represents the soul of the world, ranking the first among all things composed of five elements. (The Book of Rites)
Among all natural things, human beings are the most distinguished. (Liezi)
Human nature is the most distinguished among all things between heaven and earth. (Xu Shen: Explanation of Script and Elucidation of Characters)