Fostering Humanity Manifesto
Leonard Cohen observes that “everything has a crack, that’s how the light gets in”. We soak up the rays, tell time and mark the seasons with the sun and grow with the help of the sun. We turn our faces to the sun, always seeking the good, the beautiful and the happiness we believe is found there.
Yet along with the pursuit of happiness and warmth of the sun, often those who are the most vulnerable can be caused to be overlooked. Darkness brings fear, anxiety, monsters under the bed and cold truths we might rather avoid. It is easy to see the light, yet darkness has value as well. There we find the lost and lonely who are always left behind. The homeless, the veteran, the mentally disabled, those with depression or any one of us on a given day who need a kind word, a gentle touch, a smile and understanding.
Instead, many of us look away as though by not laying eyes on humanity and need, it will not exist. Yet vulnerability and the need for love always exists and neither ignorance nor apathy will change that. The only thing that changes darkness and neglect is love. You don’t have to love someone romantically to practice love. The challenge is this: Do not cause harm. Give the benefit of the doubt. We do not inhabit another’s mind so we will never know the full story at any given time. Simple recognition of that fact will go a long way toward fostering humanity.
This is my vision:
1. No one is insignificant. Never brush aside anyone.. Who knows what they can teach us?
2. “Treat the other man’s faith gently; it is all he has to believe with. His mind was created for his own thoughts, not yours or mine.” ~ Henry S. Haskins
Whether a person is a believer in a higher power or not, do not tear at the fabric of another’s belief system to feed your ego. We all come to faith (I do not necessarily mean religion) in our own ways and our own time. Who is to say that the person who walks silently along a brook doesn’t feel moved by a spirit? Allow each person to engage in his or her own belief system. At the end of the day, it matters most whether or not a person is kind.
3. Choose love. It is easy to be negative, to think that others have it in for us and to think the worst.
4. Protect the vulnerable. Don’t assume that someone else will be your backbone.
5. Listen to others. The most basic human need is someone to hear our story. It matters.
6. Make your points without personal attacks. Weak people attack others instead of clearly and civilly stating disagreements and trying to find common ground. When common ground can’t be found, wish your “opponent” well.
7. Find beauty in everyone. Everyone has it. If it isn’t apparent, that means that you haven’t waited long enough. Everyone has humanity to be laid thread, by golden thread, and woven into a tapestry of joyful existence.
8. Add joy where you can. Kindness costs nothing.
9. Label no one. Labels negate worth.
We are all magnificent; we are all capable of love, hope, kindness and beauty manifested. You have more to offer than you could ever imagine and the universe is waiting for your wisdom.
I leave you with this:
Let me assure you that you are loved. You were wonderfully created, and made to be someone special. You are ever changing but in every phase you are a perfect masterpiece. You are beautiful, you are wonderful, and you cannot fail. You were not made for that. You were made to be a beautiful human becoming. You were made to be a warrior, not a doormat. YOU ARE A WARRIOR! Stand tall. Know that you are more than you ever imagined. Know you are worthy of every blessing. Know you are loved more than you ever imagined. Foster Humanity.
Text and image © 2013 Paulissa Kipp