“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” -Carl Gustav Jung Swiss psychiatrist, Psychologist and Founder of the Analytic Psychology, 1875–1961)
Everything is fine, until it isn’t. It’s a simple notion. If only we could foresee disaster looming on the horizon, we would use all of our power to prevent it from happening.
When we turn on the news, we want to turn away, but we can’t, for the same reason, we slow down for car accidents and fires, not just for safety, not to view carnage, because we need to know, if everyone and everything is all right.
Everything it not all right, is it?
Places that were once safe are no longer havens…and we feel helpless.
The Presidential election proves we are a country divided. Congress is waging a civil war over how to fix America’s financial woes; still, they cannot put aside politics long enough to do what is right for all of us.
Natural disasters leave lives in ruins and crises and violence erupt around the world in places like Syria and Egypt.
We go about our daily lives rushing here, hurrying there, we’re busy with jobs, family and bills.
This is life here on earth; where we are so focused on getting things done, where we forget all about our mission.
I write this with a spirit of imperfection: I am guilty. Yet, this post is not about guilt, we all get enough of that. This post is not about politics or new laws, it is about doing our personal part, while acting collectively for the sake of humanity.
Why are we here?
I believe each of us is born with special gifts and that the opportunity exists for us use these talents and abilities for the sake of civilization. Maybe you don’t.
Still, are we all doing our part to make to make things better?
Unless of course, you need so much help you cannot fathom offering any, in which case, graciously accept it. Someday, you might be able to return the favor.
When tragedy strikes, we rail and shout, seeking to blame, pointing fingers, but unless we point those fingers at the mirror and ask, “What can I do to make things better today?” Nothing will ever change.
Again, no judgment, our ‘human condition’ creates emotional reactions; it is our humanity lashing out against itself even as we cling ever more tightly to our defenses.
If we personally are not direct victims of a tragedy, we can only cry for those suffering and pray. Whether or not we follow a specific belief system, prayer is a powerful force.
Yet, we seek to do something. We yearn to turn time backwards, to undo the damage. Then the question becomes, do we have the power to prevent future crises, to learn from our mistakes? Not if we stay collectively unchanged.
We rejoice in tales of goodwill and inspiration: the mysterious millionaire who handed out one-hundred-dollar-bills to the Hurricane Sandy victims and the man who paid the Christmas lay-a-ways for strangers.
We cheered Police Officer, Larry Deprimo, who gave a homeless man boots and in the process, lifted our spirits. Yet, if we ask ourselves, would we have done what he did or would we have crossed the street, looked the other way?
Especially during the Christmas season, many charities seek donations and we are generous. After the holidays, when we go back to being who we were, what then? How do we show our concern for others, not just at Christmas time–all year-long?
- If we are Employers unable to hire, due to financial constraints, we can create internships, because knowledge and experience are valuable.
- If we are famous or have a platform, we can use it to inspire.
- The random acts of kindness movement still exists, benevolent acts: like paying someone’s utility bill, grocery bill, toll or fast food order or giving a server a large tip.
- Even in times of financial crisis, civility is free. We can thank those who serve, whether in the military or in our communities.
- We can become more aware instead of ignoring and compliment instead of criticizing a stranger.
- We can practice charity in our hearts and in our minds.
- Has your child been the victim of a bully at school? Has your child ever been the bully? Do you know? We can talk to our children and become better role models.
- We can stop judging others and gossiping.
- We can include not exclude, with the gift of friendship.
- We can practice acceptance and banish jealousy in our thoughts.
- We can let go of a grudge that is spreading like cancer within us.
- We can become courteous drivers.
- We can offer a single kind word or a smile to brighten someone’s day.
- In the very least, when we find ourselves incapable of good thoughts, we can can bite our tongues and think first, for the sake of humanity.
Finally, are we seeking to change the behavior of others when the only person we truly control and refuse to change is ourselves? We are imperfectly human and complex by nature, yet we have an innate capacity for kindness and compassion and we can choose to create a better human race before we lose this one, entirely.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing your thoughts!