“A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘universe,’ a part limited in time and space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.
"Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty”- Albert Einstein
Despite all our individual characteristics, no matter what education we may have or what social rank, what gender we have or which race we belong to and irrespective of what we may have achieved in our lives, we all seek happiness and to avoid suffering during this short life of ours. This is the common human fabric that binds us.
The world we live in or leave behind for our children will only increase in complexity.
"Our commitment to start thinking and acting on the basis of an identity rooted in the phrase” we human beings”.
This commitment will bind us across race and culture, gender and class across religion and nations and this will provide our coming generations with the resilience to grow and stay united for the challenges ahead.
It is not a matter of choice but of utmost responsibility.
If you would like to know more about common humanity please read below
One of the most important elements of self-compassion is the recognition of our shared humanity. Compassion is, by definition, relational. Compassion literally means “to suffer with,” which implies a basic mutuality in the experience of suffering. The emotion of compassion springs from the recognition that the human experience is imperfect, that we are all fallible. Why else would we say “it’s only human” to comfort someone who has made a mistake? When we’re in touch with our common humanity, we remember that feelings of inadequacy and disappointment are universal. This is what distinguishes self-compassion from self-pity. While self-pity says “poor me,” self-compassion recognizes suffering is part of the shared human experience. The pain I feel in difficult times is the same pain that you feel in difficult times. The triggers are different, the circumstances are different, the degree of pain is different, but the basic experience is the same.
My friend was moved to the core but had no way of reciprocating their kindness. The ponies carrying their belongings had been separated from them in the landslide. There was no way they could pay back the porters. And yet, these men continued to shower their humanity without expecting anything in return, to a people who were distinct from them in religion, race and culture. Perhaps they knew that the common humanity that bound them together was worth far more.
Homaira Kabir (positive psychology coach, cognitive behavioral therapist and writer)
I imagine that you have stories you can share of times you have felt deeply connected to someone you do not know. I take great hope in this. I believe that there is something fundamental about us as human beings that allow us to understand each other if only we will try. I believe that our sameness is far greater than our differences. At the recent Village Square and Leon County “Created Equal” event, the question was asked, “How do we defy our human instincts and see ourselves in others?” I wonder how do we honor our human instincts and see ourselves in others?
Candace McKibben (Director of Faith outreach at Big bend Hospice)