I’ve told you all of my overly tough 2015, and specifically the sensory overload mental health problems which resulted from suddenly living somewhere so constantly polluted with noise. I told you I even lost a few friendships because of it. And how could I not? Every once in a while, and with no ability to control it, something triggered me and I went nuts. A couple of times friends got caught in those crosshairs. Not fun for anyone.

What astonished me was the way, after so much time together as friends, one (literally) crazy human moment somehow changed everything. All of the laughs, and good times, and bonding of the past didn’t seem to matter when I, that one time, turned into a raging lunatic and said things I definitely shouldn’t have said while acting how I definitely shouldn’t have acted.

I hated that. And I hated that when it happened, I had to hang my head in shame, apologize until I was blue in the face, and feel like the crappiest person in existence. I hated that I felt defined by a single moment in time that was so out of character for me, instead of by all the amazing times. I hated that even though after my apologies I was told things were okay… they weren’t. Those friendships never recovered.

Now there are those who will immediately blurt out, “then they weren’t your real friends anyway!” Sorry, that’s not true. They were my real friends. One was my best friend for many years. So please don’t tell me that in the comments. It only makes it hurt more.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Had I been in their shoes, I would like to think that I would immediately laugh it off and pretend it never happened, but I can’t know. I wasn’t in their shoes. I didn’t see me through their eyes.

But I have seen others through my eyes.

I have seen other amazing, intelligent, smart, happy, good human people go… crazy. I’ve seen them go nuts. I’ve seen them do other things out of their norms, too. I’ve seen them be sad, and lonely, and jealous, and overthinking, and angry, and hurt, and worried, and more. I’ve seen them say and do things they fear will label them forever. I’ve also seen them downplay accomplishments or work so hard they forget to enjoy life like they used to. In fact, there isn’t a person I know really well who hasn’t had some sort of super off-day in my presence.

After I felt the dynamics of one group of poker friends change for the worst last year, I frustratingly thought to myself, can’t I just get a pass to be human for one friggin’ day?

Fast forward.

A bunch of friends were over for a night of cocktails and board games. My close friend (whom I’ll call Jennifer) began behaving very bizarrely toward another friend (whom I’ll call Sally).

The things Jennifer was doing were not like her, and I had a good hunch as to why she was acting in such a way. I was privy to some heavy things she was dealing with, and I knew that just like my other friends, Sally was simply caught in the crosshairs of the usually awesome Jennifer’s not so awesome human moment.

The next day I texted Sally and asked if we could just give Jennifer a “Human Pass” for the previous evening. Sally instantly sent a smiley emoji and said, “of course!” Because Sally is awesome like that.

I also knew Jennifer was probably a bit worried about it, so I sat down and made her an actual “Human Pass” in Photoshop. “One Human Pass” it said in big letters; and it had to be used “today.” In small print it said:

“The holder of this pass is entitled to be human, and to have real human emotions, and real human struggles, and real human challenges, with absolutely no need to explain, apologize, or save face. You’re allowed to overthink, be sad, silent, frustrated, or upset.

The issuer of this “Human Pass” guarantees to do nothing but unconditionally love you and be there for you (or give you space) without judgment, need for further discussion, and without need for a dang thing in return. It turns out you’re human. And humaning is hard sometimes. Today, you get a pass on having to seem always happy and always perfect.”

Below that I added her name, then texted it to her with a nice note.

She replied that it meant a lot and made her cry; she said it made all the difference. I just smiled, happy that I did something nice for a friend.

Then I got to thinking…

What if my friends had given me a Human Pass after my recent crazy moments? Gosh, that would have made me feel so much better. Our friendships would probably still be intact.

In fact, why doesn’t everyone send everyone else Human Passes every time someone has a tough moment being… {GULP}… human?

Is it because we are a species who loves to punish each other? Is it because the human race likes to hold onto things in case we need them as leverage later? Or is it simply because most of us are sane most days, and we forget that we go nuts sometimes, thereby forgetting that other people get to go nuts sometimes, too?

I don’t know. But I know humans struggle with it, and… We’re a lot of incredible things, too.

Humans are forgiving, and accepting, and loving. We cherish our close relationships. We work for them. We want to do right by them.

We just forget the right things to say or think sometimes when the hard moments and emotions of life are front and center.

Yes, I thought. We need something that will help us do that. I needed something like that for sure.

And so, I made something. For all of us.

I present to you: The Human Pass App.

It’s an iPhone and Android app that lets you send any of 41 different Human Passes to anyone you know on the days they (and you) need them most. It’s an app that helps us give all the best support, space, and love on the days we all (for some reason) struggle to do so.

Human Passes

You see… I was just going to share the Human Pass I made for my friend with you and say, “this was cool! Make these for your friends!”

But then I realized… 1) not everyone has graphic design skills so a blank pass would most likely just start getting passed around, and 2) it would be way more meaningful if people who received them had their name and a personal picture/photo permanently affixed; something that said, “hey I actually took a little time to make this for you.” That should be easy enough. And from that, the idea of the app was born.

One thing led to another, and soon I had written a unique Human Pass for all sorts of different moments where they could be used. A Human Pass to think. A Human Pass to be sad. A Human Pass to hurt. A Human Pass to be thrilled, even. Many more. They were all heartfelt and designed with one purpose in mind: let humans be human so that relationships of every kind can thrive beyond the crappy moments.

After making all the different Human Passes (including requests for Human Passes that you can send when you’re the one having a day like that), I realized that some people respond much better to humor and silliness than they do to overly sincere gestures. So, I created a second version of each Human Pass to say the same thing, but in different (funnier and more light-hearted) words.

Just check the app out. Swipe through the different Human Passes. Send one to someone you care about. Today. You know someone who needs at least one of those passes right now, guaranteed.

It was really important to me that it is available for ANYONE to send a basic Human Pass, so I made the app free with in-app purchases to get access to all of the different Human Passes. The Original Human Pass (both funny and heartfelt versions) are always going to be free. To everyone. So is the Original Human Pass request.

Anyway, I am so excited for you all to have this app. I’m excited for ME to have this app! I’m excited for my friends to have this app. Humaning is hard sometimes. This app just helps us to be awesome about it. Because… We humans are awesome.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

Follow the links below to download The Human Pass App, or click here to view all the different Human Passes before you get the app!

PS. In case you were wondering the biggest reason why my Single Dad Laughing blog posts have been far less frequent, this is it. I thought this would be a project that took a few weeks. Famous last words. A few months was more like it! Could have been worse, for sure. Ha.

And, sorry. I didn’t have enough funds to build this on Windows Phone, too. If enough people get it and use it on iOS/Android, I’ll build it for Windows phones. For sure.

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 1.4 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!