Let’s go back to the basics, shall we? Does anyone even remember the basics anymore? If we strip away all the labels and identities, if we remove the lines drawn in the sand and look one another in the eye what is left?
I’ll tell you.
The basics of humanity allow us to recognize that we all have much more in common than not.
How did we forget that?
Basic Needs of a Human Being
A dry warm place to sleep or come in from adverse weather.
A basic staple of life, food is a must for survival. Nutritious food should be available to every human. Starvation in the advanced world of which we live is completely inexcusable.
Clean Drinking Water:
See (nutritious food) above.
Every human should feel safe in their home environment, in their classroom, in public gathering spaces, in the forest, everywhere. Granted, a mountain lion could attack you in the forest, but we shouldn’t have to be living in fear of fellow humans who act as predators or adversaries.
So many developed countries dispose of clothes by the season without a second thought while people in other parts of the world would cherish a single sweater or a hat. Perspective taking can be revolutionary.
Throughout the ages people have fought, died, and/or been killed over the desperate desire to learn and have access to knowledge. This fight still continues all over the world. Knowledge is what brings people out of the darkness and into the light of understanding. All it takes in the developed world is a library card and a will to use it.
Access to Basic Healthcare:
No human should be faced with extreme suffering or death simply due to a lack of affluence or access to resources, pretty simple when you break it down.
Broken down on the side of the road, trapped in a well, bleeding from the head, choking, drowning… If you’re human you’ll need help from time to time. Isn’t it nice when another human goes out of their way to step up and meet the need?
This is a very obvious, yet often overlooked need.
The equation is simple:
No Planet=No Humans
If we continue to treat the earth like our own personal dumpster we will eventually be living in that dumpster and then we just won’t be living at all. Our oceans are already well on their way to filling up with our trash. Each and every human has personal accountability for our collective home.
Control Over your Own Body:
Everyone should have the right to decide what does or does not happen to-or-with his or her own body.
Although the absence of love, integrity, dignity, truth, respect, compassion, or empathy won’t actually kill us, day-to-day life is so much better with those things woven into our society.
We can turn a blind eye, place blame, point fingers, and become polarized, or, we could recognize that under all the labels, identities, and skin tones we are all human beings with the same basic wants and needs and strive to help one another fulfill those needs. Let’s face it; every single race and religion has perpetrated violence, or wrongdoing at some point in history against others, or their own people so maybe focusing on being humans with humility is a good place to start.
Humility breeds empathy and empathy sparks action.
Perhaps we embrace the fact that it takes all sorts to make a society function and flourish. We need office workers, factory workers, farmers, and dentists. We need postal workers, firefighters, accountants, and mechanics. We need artists, mathematicians, musicians, and librarians. Let’s be thankful for the people who pay attention to details, and also for those who see the big picture. Without everyone making their own unique contribution, society will fold like a house of cards. The world is filled to the brim with different cultures, each of which we can learn something unique and valuable from.
If we can turn away from the television/computer screens spewing out divisiveness and instead look one another in the eye, maybe we could all agree to get back to the basics and then work our way out from there. I think we might find that our world would quickly be filled with much less anger, animosity, and violence.
My personal recommendation?
Let’s give it a try.
What have we got to lose?