Well friends, it’s been quite the week. Rather focus on what divides us, I’ve been thinking about what unites us. The word “humanity” has come to mind over and over and over again in the last few days. I’m curious, what is humanity? It’s a word we throw around a lot, what does it mean to you? To me?
Humanity (noun): 1. all human beings collectively; the human race; humankind. 2. the quality or condition of being human; human nature. 3. the quality of being humane; kindness; benevolence.
If the qualities of being human are kindness and benevolence and these apply collectively to all mankind, then we as humans are differentiated by our compassion, empathy and commitment to a greater good.
Commitment to a greater good – we are inherently generous and magnanimous. We have not accomplished great feats working as individuals, people have come together throughout the course of history to attain new triumphs of human capability – whether it was putting a man on the moon, abolishing slavery, finding new trade routes or painting the Sistine Chapel (even Michaelangelo had assistants).
Now, as people we are also inherently flawed – we can be selfish, fearful, and covetous. Its our ability to see and change our behavior that enables us to work together to achieve great things – such as living in peace and harmony. Not everyone will choose a path of peace and not everyone will choose to act in accordance with their highest nature. And that doesn’t mean that all is lost, it just means the sea of humanity has to do the work of absorbing and purifying our collective actions.
We are all droplets in the sea of humanity. We each have an important contribution to make and it’s when we come together that we create something more powerful than the sum of our individual efforts.
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” – Mahatma Gandhi.
I love this quote by Gandhi. It perfectly sums up the work we as humans must do for ourselves and our society. We must remain steadfast in our belief that mankind is decent (not perfect) and the efforts of the good will undo the works of the bad.
We can be in choice about the contributions we make to the human ocean that creates our culture, society, and way of life. We can look deep within to find our purpose and do the work to stay aligned to the purpose. Eastern spirituality calls this dharma, Proverbs 20.5 says “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”
What is your purpose? What is your commitment? How will you shape your droplet of humanity?