Monday Musings – Humanity

“Humanity” has several meanings, however for me the word usually invokes the concept of compassion, of empathy and understanding and respecting others.

So when I read that this week’s Monday Musings topic was (paraphrasing) ‘What does humanity mean to you?’ I guess my first instinct is the above.

We say people have “lost their humanity” when they do something cruel or horrific, whether it’s to other people or even to animals.

When we see or hear of someone doing something compassionate, generous, loving, selfless (especially for a stranger) we think of that as being their “humanity” showing through.

My next line read “with so much negativity in the world…” then I stopped and deleted that. Really, how much negativity is there? After all we are bombarded by news on TV, radio, billboards, magazines, newspapers, the internet…and bad news sells better than good news. Heck when we have a bad experience in a shop we tell everyone. Forget the 100s of good experience we have had, it is almost more noteworthy to discuss the bad ones.

Maybe… just maybe that’s because they are actually not as common as the good. Maybe we see all the negativity but part of us (I hope) realises that actually there is far more good, far more “humanity” in the world and not to let the horror stories drag us down.

There was recently a news article here in Britain stating that a disabled pensioner had been mugged in his home and was injured in the mugging. He was terrified to go back to his home. A horrible story! Yet, within a day or so another story took control – a young woman had been moved by his story and started a donation page. Within a short time the amount raised was £250,000.00. All the comments from this story were positive, sending their wellwishes to the gentleman and stating how kind-hearted this woman was.

We don’t always here these tales of humanity, yet the term “Faith in Humanity” has become more common and people are starting to share these stories where faith in humanity is restored.

These are the stories we should be sharing, we should always look to the best and not get trapped with the worst.

This is important to me in my spiritual path, because when we see how strong humanity can be, how brave, kind, selfless, generous and heroic people can be, gives me hope.

Enjoy this video, I hope it makes you smile 🙂

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F is for Fear and Faith

Well, I’m nicely behind with the Pagan Blog Project so I’m going to try and chug through the next few over this weekend.

Having watched some recent news articles and read comments about them, I see fear has become a very common bedfellow with many people. It is understandable, after all almost all media spends its time portraying the very worst of humanity. Isn’t that what sells newspapers?

Add to that the charity campaigns who fill our emails with horrifying stories of human rights abuses, animal abuse, devastation to the natural world.

We are surrounded by the very worst and so we fear. We look on strangers with suspicion, believe every new cough is come new breed of bird flu and check and recheck our home locks for some sense of security.

Yes there are bad people in the world, there is cruelty and if you want to use the word “evil” then that’s there too.

But it isn’t the only thing.

When I was going through a rough time a few years ago everything I read broke my heart. The stories of what was happening to our natural world all for greed and profit filled me with pain. The stories of what humans did to each other because of our differences – religion, creed, colour, gender, sexuality or just because someone dressed differently made me withdraw. The stories of what people did to their pets, their children, their parents…

It was an endless spiral of suffering and I was not even the one going through what I read, merely feeling it empathically.

It was only when someone else was telling me about some horrible thing and I heard them say how the “world was going to hell” that I thought, wait that’s not right.

Yes there are things in this world to fear – awful things. But then what about all the people fighting FOR things.

The rainforest (for example) in Indonesia is being razed for palm oil. Animals and people are being driven out, threatened and killed. But there are people fighting to stop it, communities, campaigns, people all over the world uniting to stop it.

There are people being oppressed, beaten, raped in some countries and no one is being held accountable. But what about the organisations who are bringing these cruelties to peoples’ attention. Shining a light on this brutality so that others can sit up and say “No, this has to stop”.

For every horrible thing that happens, there are good people striving to stop it from happening again. There are people fighting to give those victims a voice, to make safe havens and push for legislation.

We can be those people, make those differences, those changes, fight for the rights of others as well as our selves. Protect our world and all those creatures that live with us.

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do.” ~Unknown

So have faith, the world is not so dark, so cold. If you need a little cheer, I hope you find these videos a little uplifting.