Don’t Give Up, I Believe In You. To Preserve Humanity We Need You, Your Life, and Your Work.
I have never met you, and I likely never will.
But that doesn’t change how I feel.
I believe in you, and I always will.
At its core humanity is all about the collective whole. Where we stand as individuals in relation to all the others of our race. To possess humanity then is to possess understanding of what it is to be human, which given the times we live in necessitates an awareness of others and empathy to their situations. It is to acknowledge that there are many and varied perspectives on what makes a life good. Even more so, it is to acknowledge that it is impossible to truly understand an perspective outside our own, as without having lived that life we lack the experiences necessary to come to grips with them. Empathy is not a luxury in the world today. It is necessary to the survival of humanity itself.
An argument can be made that in examining the survival of the human race, so long as there are sufficient numbers to maintain genetic diversity, humanity may continue. I do not believe this to be true. In a scenario that sees the numbers of mankind maintained, humanity itself might still pass into darkness. Hate would rule in this world, and every action and interaction between people of different states, religions and backgrounds would be one of cost-benefit analysis. Would my interactions with this other person bring me some benefit? Would engaging cost me something? This is not what humanity should be about.
In the past several years hatred, xenophobia, violence and economic frustrations seem to have been on the rise. These things have not only plagued the United States but many countries around the world. Together, however, we can make positive differences in the lives of ourselves and those around us. Doing so will not only make our world a better place but will also preserve what humanity is supposed to be all about. You do not even have to make grand gestures or contribute massive amounts of time, effort, or money to make a difference. All it takes is a few, small things that are aimed at yourself or aimed at others. There are others but these were the ones that stood out to me.
It all begins with doing a few daily essentials to get your life off on the right track. When advice or recommendations on having positive impacts on the world around us are presented, what is not traditional thought about is simply living. Approach each day one at a time. Try not to get too tied up in the future. Focus on the little things. Sleep. Food. Water. Cleanliness. Making friends, either by actively seeking them out or by passively acquiring them over time through shared engagement in work or hobbies. Love you family. Get a job that you can at least tolerate, but hopefully one that makes you happy. Deceptive in its simplicity, if you do these few things you will see all the difference in your life, because these things are the bedrock on which we as people stand.
Work Your Job The Way You Would Want To Be Served As A Customer
One thing that is sometimes lost in modern society is the value of a job. I am not talking about monetary value, though that is an integral part of what makes a job a job, but in terms of the societal value a job has. If a job had no value to society it would not exist. Thus by having a job, any job, you are providing a service to others, whether it is at the individual level or all the way up at a societal level. The result of this is that, by working in a job, you have inherent value outside of the paycheck you are presented for your hours of work. You are providing a service to those around you that, without your effort, would not be provided. You are valuable and an integral part of society, no matter the position or title with which you are labeled in your work. Without you, your work would not get done. I will say it again: you are a valuable and integral part of society. It does not matter what job you have, the simple fact you are making the effort to complete it is wonderful. Humanity can’t make it without you.
Why do I believe in positive affirmations, even to strangers or those I’ll never meet? Its because a few kind words can go a long way. They are often enough to change a persons perspective of their entire day, week, or more. Telling someone they are doing a good job, that they are making a difference, reverberates through their life and will manifest itself in their continued efforts and interactions with those around them. This applies to all people, at all levels of society. Sometimes those at the top or who seem to be living in a position of strength need positive affirmations the most.
Keep Making The Effort
This can be applied to your interactions with others or in the actions you take yourself. Sometimes people are grumpy or don’t appear to be enjoying the moments they are living through. Try to be understanding, we as individuals often don’t fully see the struggles of those around us. Keep being polite, and give compliments where they apply. In terms of how this point applies to yourself, keep doing those things that fill your cup with joy, that bring the light into your life. This applies to all the things you might be doing, yet fill you with doubt or a lack of surity if you are doing the right thing. If its a hobby, continue to make time for it. If it is engagement with others, try to greet someone and ask them about there day. The important thing is that you keep making the effort in regards to the things you care about, for it is the positive results of these efforts that impact our general demeanor and how we go about our lives.
Listen. Just Listen.
With all the technology we have in the world today it is easier than ever to know what is going on at any one time anywhere in the world. Given the speed of life and demands on individuals in society, there is a potential issue with this however: you might be getting an incomplete picture of events or unintentionally absorbing biases or perspectives from those who are providing you with the information. From there it becomes all too easy to get upset at something or someone, leading to this anger to manifest itself in other parts of our lives. I am not saying certain things should not get us upset at certain times, but that we should be on guard against a cycle of hate that has no grounding in reality. Remember, many sources of information, even those freely providing, are often still trying to sell you something or trying to keep you engaged and reading/watching. Making you upset about something is often an effective way to do so. To avoid falling in this trap, try to get your news or information from a range of sources, across the political/social spectrum. In addition, if you are able, engage with those you might have cause to be upset with according to the media you consume. Even if you just listen for a little while. You might find you have a lot more in common than you think.
Paint, Write, Express Yourself
At no other point in human history has it been so easy to share our thoughts, opinions, and our very souls with those we share this world with. In terms of art, keep expressing yourself, even if you think you are not very good. I guarantee that the greatest artists who ever lived were not masters from the day they were born. And you becoming a professional or achieving notoriety is not your aim, keep painting or drawing regardless. Making art is cathartic and relaxing, and those we choose to share it with often get just as much out of it as we do in making it. So keep painting, keep going the world is waiting for the colors and images you bring to life, from the abstract to the photorealistic, it will all be loved by someone. The same goes for writing. Words have power, but if you don’t share them with the world they will remain only a whisper of themselves.
It has also never been easier to learn something new in life. A new snippet of history. A new language with which to engage others. A new skill to create something. While doing any of these things inherently brings benefit to ourselves, as we are expanding our experiences and knowledge, it also by proxy brings us into closer contact with others, both as individuals or whole cultures. Effort brings knowledge. Knowledge brings understanding. Understanding brings empathy. Empathy is the end of hate. Take time to learn more, whether it be from taking classes, borrowing books from a library, or simply engaging with someone you would like to learn something from.
Do Something For Someone Else
Pick up trash. Volunteer. Hold the door for the person behind you. Help someone pick up the change they dropped. Donate money to a cause you care about. Listen to someone who needs a shoulder to cry on. The list goes on and on. By doing any or all of these things is to express the most important component of our shared humanity, a component that has been discussed to some degree above, but which really shines through here. Empathy. By engaging with others in a manner that does them service, without any expectation of reward or recompense beyond the positive feelings they spark within us, magnifies the impacts we have on the world and people around us. You don’t even have to go out of your way often. Just seize the moment as it presents itself, or make time every week or so to do any organized act of giving. These little things make all the difference. The stirring of a butterflies wings can create a hurricane on the other side of the world.
I wrote these words over the period of a few hours today. I read something in a news article that really got stuck in my craw, and I felt powerless. That the world is becoming a darker place, one that our children and their children will have to struggle within and tame again. I don’t want this to happen. This article represents one, small effort by my part to attempt to make some difference in the world. Even if only a few read this article, and do only one or two things, my goal at sparking positive impacts on the world around us will have been met. There are other things I will be doing, above and beyond the ones I mentioned in this article, but this is my first step. God bless you all. May you continue to live lives that make better those around you.