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The Human Operating System

Updated: Jul 17, 2022

A computer, tablet or phone will come with an operating system which receives regular updates designed to keep the computer running at optimum levels. Within these updates are Security Patches, designed to keep the equipment safe from damage and deal with external threat.

You are the same. However, the upgrades are specific to us as individuals, as are the Security Patches embedded in the upgrade.

You are born with pre-installed Software; version Human 1.0. Kindness, Love and Compassion are built in and you know nothing else.

As you grow and experience reality, you start to get your first updates, even from a very early age.

You ask your parents for a ‘treat’. ‘No,’ they reply ‘you haven’t been good enough, You don’t deserve one.’

The next upgrade comes with the Security Patch ‘Good things need to be earned’. You start to learn of limitation and lack

You experience your first love, and subsequent broken-heart. It really hurts and you vow to yourselves never to let that happen again.

The next upgrade includes Security Patch ‘be careful who you love, and protect yourself from hurt’. You learn to put up walls and only love conditionally.

You enter the world of employment and earning.

The next upgrade includes Security Patch ‘You need to earn more to be secure and happy’. You learn that happiness is dependent on financial security.

You keep getting updates and Security Patches. These are generated from your experience or listening to others you respect or rely on for information. This includes your news sources, teachers, doctors, parents, your boss etc.

Recent Upgrades may include the following Security Patches

‘Nothing comes easily’ ‘You need to work at being happy’ ‘Be careful who you trust’

Or a variety of other Security Patches specific to you.

Over time the Upgrades and Security Patches slow the system down, become obsolete or simply crash.


Underneath all the upgrades, below all the Security Patches, Human 1.0 is still there, whirring away, underpinning everything.

You can reset whenever you want, but it may mean deleting the Security Patches you believe are keeping you safe.

When you reset your phones, tablet or computer you go back to the original ‘clean’ version. It is the same with us.

Kindness, compassion and love are built in. it is part of the operating system, it’s just that sometimes it is buried beneath layers of additional data.

Martyn Dawes is a Coach, Social Care Consultant, and Author of The Overwhelmed Manager: What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

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