Updated: Jun 3
If you follow my posts on social media, you’ll know that I have spent the last week talking about being kind, grateful, and human. This was borne out of sadness in the aftermath of the shooting of Ralph Yarl, the young man that knocked on the wrong door and Kaylin Gillis who was shot after pulling into the wrong driveway. And just Friday, a family that asked if an intoxicated neighbor would stop shooting off his rifle because their baby was sleeping.
I’m not political so this is not going to get political. While there’s plenty of room for policy discussions around race relations or gun control based on these tragedies, this is not about that. It's about why any of these events happened in the first place. This is about our humanity which is in great decline.
We live in a time of 24 hour everything. We’re on all the time. Having access to information, entertainment, transportation, communication, it’s a lot. But all this access, all this speed misses the point of being human. It keeps us unhappy, overstimulated, and on edge. It also doesn’t get us any closer to a genuine connection with another person. This connection is what’s missing now, a connection to and respect for others, and I fear that incidents like these will become more commonplace.
I have a question. Why. Are. We. So. Angry?!
Back in the Fall, I had a bit of a road rage incident. Unfortunately, my son was in the car. I was heading home on a road that narrowed from two lanes to one. A gentleman was driving very fast in the right line while I was in the left. Unsure of what to do (speed up or slow down), I stayed in my lane and sped up, he was not happy. I arrived at the light, and I waited to make my left-hand turn. The driver took this brief opportunity to pull up next to me in the right-hand lane, roll his window down, and yell obscenities at me. Most shocking was that he was an older gentleman with what looked like his wife or girlfriend in the car. The split second the light turned green, he hit the gas and tore off down the road. The person following him took the opportunity to flip me the bird as well; I assume they were together.
This left my son scared and wondering what had happened and I couldn’t even begin to explain it to him at the time. However, I was left with a question that I still ask today, “What happened in that man’s life, his day, his world to make him act like that?” First and foremost, I knew I was just the one in his way at that moment in time and it had nothing to do with me. Second, I know that type of energy will not serve him well long-term in life. Energy goes where attention flows, positive or negative.
One of the quotes I posted this week regarding kindness was, “Be kind, everyone we meet is fighting a hard battle.” Maybe that guy was fighting his own battle. A battle, I cannot fight or an issue I cannot solve for him, but I can hope that he finds peace with that battle someday. That’s a big part of being human. Wanting the best for others even if we feel their actions or behavior don’t warrant it.
The human condition is to be human – in the best ways possible. To try and look through the anger and actions of others and find the good in something, anything. To hope that we can find a way to be helpful to one another versus adopting a “me first” attitude or treating others as “less than.” The world needs more humans being human and looking out for humans. We are not islands. I’m fairly sure the sentiment of, “Do unto others…” was envisioned as the most supportive and optimistic of perspectives.
The unfortunate result of our current culture and the residual effects of the pandemic have made it increasingly difficult to regain our humanity as many are still dealing with the devastating aftermath of being isolated and so much sudden loss of life. We were struggling before, but that momentous shift opened a larger can of worms. Many remain on edge and reassimilation has been difficult.
As a coach, I would recommend self-care, exercise, breathing, and meditation to calm our prickly souls. However, in some cases, we are beyond meditation. This next phase, this reawaking will require an opening of the heart and mind. A laying bare of the vulnerability of being human. This must happen because our children, the next generation, are watching. We cannot let them feel that isolation, anger, disgruntlement, or apathy is the answer. Dangerous things happen when we go down this road. History has shown us that.
If you need the interventions of self-care to get you back to a place where you can do this, then do so, however we must also act. Model humanity to your children, in your community, and in your workplace. Show grace when you can. Open a door, let someone ahead of you in line, yield in traffic, smile at a stranger, and say hello. Make an effort to connect and expect nothing in return. Engage in other human activities such as:
If you see someone hurting, offer assistance, or go get help. Don't walk away.
If someone wants to learn, teach them. Or direct them to someone who can.
Check in on a lonely neighbor. Not everyone has someone that cares about them. Be that someone.
If you have extra, no matter what it is, share what you have and accept graciously from others.
If someone needs a chance, help them find an opportunity. Support their efforts.
Listen to someone that needs a shoulder. There's power in just being there.
Give money if you have it spare or find resources to help someone in need. You never know when you may be in the same position.
It costs us nothing to connect with another person and there’s so much to gain from the interaction. In this culture of A.I., a human touch, human perspective, and human understanding will become increasingly more important. The technological advances of the future have so much to offer us, but humans are the ones that develop them and I’m sure those humans enjoy sharing their achievements with humans that congratulate and support them for their efforts. Accolades from a software platform will not feed the soul in a similar way. Sharing progress is just another of the benefits of being well, human.
Once we can get back to valuing, honoring, and respecting what it means to be human, we’ll no longer have to come to terms with senseless violence, rude behavior, or isolation. Hopefully, we’ll be busy celebrating one another. Humans, treating humans humanely.
Is the lack of humanity having a negative impact on your view of the world or your mindset in finding the good in life and others? Book a complimentary consultation call now to learn how I can support you getting back to an open heart and mind!
Let's take care of one another and get back to being good humans.
Take care and be well,