in our darkest times, when we feel lost, i think we lose touch with what makes us human. we feel dry, burnt out, and overburdened. i know we weren't ever supposed to deal with these things. in the garden all we had to do was pick fruit, not deal with death, hate... all that stuff. i've noticed in those times, sometimes just a shower can make us feel better, and even better than a shower is a hug, or an encouraging note.
things like that reaffirm our humanity, because they make us feel better about ourselves. i first got thinking about what humanity really is when i read sex god by rob bell, and he talked about beauty. he tells a story about a medical shipment to one of the camps during the holocaust getting mixed up. instead of relief supplies, the camp got crates of red lipstick. they decided to make the best of it, and they put it on all of the people, and they felt better, because they felt almost human again after the terrors. the characteristics that affirm our humanity, like love, hope, passion, are also the characteristics that best reflect god's presence in us.
some might also say that hate, and deceit are "human" characteristics, but they weren't originally, when god first made us.