It is convenient for people to blame current events on the decay of humanity. It is tempting to see darkness and dwell on the lack of optimism. Reports of rioting and looting are like a horrible train wreck that we cannot stop watching. We can dwell on this negativity and allow it to stain our view of people, or we can look for the beauty in people. Gandhi said we must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. There are over seven billion humans on this third rock from the sun. We must not allow the few drops of negativity, relatively speaking, to taint our view of others. Keeping our current reality in perspective is essential to remain optimistic. Haters going to hate, hate, hate!
Charlie Chaplin said we often think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Our country is experiencing a horrible seizure. We are convulsing over the virus and violence. The shaking will stop and people will once again remember love. Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Kindness, just like violence is a language.
From the decay on a forest floor comes growth. Tiny sprouts of new life emerge from the darkness and decay of death. It is the cycle of life. Humanity is my race. Love is my religion. Peace is my weapon.
Dr. Seuss wrote a book about sneetches. These creatures all looked the same; however some had stars on their bellies. The star-bellied sneetches acted superior so those without stars felt inferior. A guy showed up with a machine that will put green stars on the sneetches who did not have them. He charged a lot of money to give sneetches stars, and they were eager to pay, so they could be like the star-bellied group. The story goes on to say that once the original star-bellied sneetches no longer felt different; the same guy uses another machine to remove stars at a very high price. He made piles of money adding stars and removing stars until sneetches no longer remembered the importance of the stars.
The morale of the story is this. We are the sneetches. We covet what others have (or look like) and feel a strong desire to imitate what we presume to hate. Once we get what we want, it never seems as awesome as we thought it would. I saw a lady (on television) running out of a looted store with an expensive Louis Vuitton handbag. She got her star. Do you think it will make her happy? I doubt it.
Albert Einstein said he loves humanity but hates humans. He was referring to the awful behavior exhibited by humans attempting to get a star or remove a star. The human need to be homogeneous (all be the same) is strange to me. Why can’t we embrace our differences? Why can’t we celebrate our differences? I don’t have red hair but I think “true” red-haired people are cool because they are so unique. Shout out to all the gingers, reds, carrots, firemen, rustys, and candles! I looked these up…wow!
If you cannot feed a hundred people, feed one. Just like a tiny sprout on the floor of decay, kindness will emerge once again. Kind words and deeds can be small, but their echoes will endure long after. Imagine the power of seven billion acts of kindness on the same day. How long would that echo?
Our human seizure will soon stop and sadly, many will return the cycle of getting a star or removing a star. We must stop trying to be like each other and just like each other for being different. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. Hogwash! Imitation is an indication of human insecurity. We must not like who (or what) we are if we are attempting to be like other sneetches.
For years, I have written about the beauty of being different on purpose. I coined the term “antiordinary” in my 2009 book, Leadership Among Idiots. Antiordinary means being different on purpose. If we love ourselves as we are, it becomes easier to love others. I believe hate is an internal problem. Acts of violence are the manifestation of our own feelings of insecurity or inferiority.
Humanity is losing its geniuses. Aristotle died. Newton passed away. Einstein died, and I am just not feeling well today. Just kidding! We are still in a pandemic. I should know better. Do something kind today. Pay for the car behind you in a drive through. Make an extra donation to your church or your favorite charity. Take a meal to someone shut-in. Call your mother. Do something and quit being a little sneetch!