Last week, the spotlight was on the monetized society. This week, it falls on humanitarianism (a very good word for a Saturday). What exactly does it mean?
Humanitarianism, defined as an active belief in the value of human life encompasses the provision of benevolent treatment and assistance to assuage or relieve suffering and improve human conditions for moral, ethical, emotional or altruistic reasons.
It sounds very noble, doesn’t it? Does humanitarianism necessarily include good ‘manners’?
Good manners very rarely ‘cost’ anything. What they do is they serve to underline, quite subtly, the impression you make on another and the world. We have all heard the expression ‘there’s only one chance to make a good impression’, and for many they dismiss everything thereafter as irrelevant. However, this is only partly true. There are many occasions when everyone revisits a shop, library, school, workplace, and whenever that is, you add another layer to the impression from the first time.
Ask yourself this: if a first impression is good, is it not a good platform on which to build? Perhaps more important, if the first impression is bad: would you not wish to correct or soften it? How many times have you thought yourself ‘wrong’ about another person? It may not happen much, but it’s happened a few times, right?
So what is a humanitarian? A humanitarian tries to do the ‘right’ thing. What is the ‘right’ thing? It’s stopping to help someone who has fallen, tripped on a pavement. It’s keeping them warm, calling medical help or a neighbour, getting them to a safe place where they can recover from the shock and receive treatment.
A humanitarian gives equal consideration to every creature on planet Earth. One of the most pressing issues of the 21st Century is the gradual destruction of the planet through plastics, landfill, pollution, exhausting natural resources and deforestation. We need to stop wringing our hands and saying it’s too difficult. We need to take stock, find new methods and practices. We need to start rebuilding the world we’ve been too busy to notice we were destroying with our inconsiderate ways.
We need to stop being distracted from helping the other things that share the planet with us. Undoubtedly, human kind is the dominant species on Earth. Well, the dominant species needs to be worthy and responsible and do the right thing.
When you recycle, do you put everything in the correct bin? Do you ‘grow’ anything green? Herbs in pots on windowsills, window boxes and hanging baskets – are all possible without a garden space. In today’s economy, herbs are expensive even in their dried form, so for a small outlay, you could save money later on.
If everyone did their ‘bit’ no matter how small, we could help reverse the damage. We just all need to try.
Saturday, 17th December 2022