Monday, January 16, 2012

Humanity ~
the quality of being humane; kindness; benevolence.
I've thought so much about kindness over the last year and what it means to me, but a bigger question is what does it mean to the world.
I think of this today, on Martin Luther King, Jr. day.

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
I read an interview today with a man that spent time with Dr. King. His name was Grady Butler and he said, "King's impact transcended race...
Humanity was his concern. He just happened to be an African-American. He just wanted to serve humanity and help somebody, and I think that was his legacy."

I copy these quotes because it is true. Our own need for kindness, to give or receive, means very little if we do not concern ourselves with the need of a much greater kindness in the world today. Dr. King understood this at a level that most of us do not.
In his day he was fighting a battle of black and white so it seemed, but what he had to say transcends to a much larger picture now. If we do not quickly change our thoughts from government and finance to kindness and humanity we will fall, just as the Greeks and Romans did. We must look outward. Our ideas of the Christian nation are only valid if we live to love our Muslim brothers. Our desire to keep our nation free is only just if we allow those that want to join our nation to be free when they arrive. The forefathers of this nation came here for religious freedom yet we have never truly  respected that "freedom". We came to the America's to be free yet we took our nation from its existing inhabitants, and brought slaves to help us build the country into the "Land of the Free". And now we make our President spend the first 2 years of his presidency proving he is an American citizen because he doesn't come in a light skinned package. Companies add to their millions by sponsoring reality shows like "Teenage Moms","Mob Wives", "Housewives of Beverly Hills", and "Jersey Shore" but they pull out of "Muslim Nation". I know which group of people I want as neighbors, and if you and I disagree I don't want you as a neighbor either. I mean really, if you choose Snooky over a family that loves each other, contributes to society, and takes care of themselves just because they are Muslim, I truly have no use for you.

"Common sense is the genius of humanity."
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I have worked on kindness in my own life. I have allowed people in that I would not have chosen, I have continued to love a family that I can no longer call mine. I have put my own pain aside so that my children will feel and see love. I see kindness in those around me. My mother has never taken more than she gives and never asks for anything. I have friends that do things for others that can make me smile and feel warmth just by knowing how they have spent their day. But our work toward humanity needs to be so much more.

"The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity."
~Leo Tolstoy  
Choosing to be kind to those around us can be easy. Choosing to give in our comfort zone is not much of a sacrifice. We must broaden our scope. We must stand up as Dr. King did and say enough is enough! Understanding humanity is understanding that we are ALL human. Our skin color, our religion, our economic stature... they mean nothing without understanding that we are all the same basic structures. It matters not what God you believe in. If you believe in a God then you believe we were all create by that God. So if you cannot love your God's creatures then do you serve your God? Whomever he might be?
"Hell is an outrage on humanity. When you tell me that your deity made you in his image, I reply that he must have been very ugly."
~Victor Hugo

It is an unfortunate quote that rings true. I hope that we will fight to prove it wrong.
I hope that my children are allowed to grow old in a land of freedom and opportunity, but more so in a universe of grace and human spirit...and for them, that must begin with me.