Happy New Year to the Women of 2013, and your family and friends. Including any fur-kids about the house.
The year in recap is playing on CBS this morning. I'm being reminded of the gaffes during the election. Of all the people who are no longer with us. Little stories of courage pop in and out. Tragedy dominates. Viral videos are getting a lot of attention.
I expect it's all necessary, for some reason. As a species, we humans tend to forget easily.
Facebook is overflowing with good New Year's Eve wishes - and angry tirades. Folks are still griping about the outcome of the election, about guns and shootings and our 'rights' and the fact that... they have proof that their view is correct and everyone else's is not. I haven't seen mention of the Fiscal Cliff, but it's likely there. As we go over it, we'll hear more and more about our disfunctional Congress. And, as a group, we'll lament that Congress isn't doing its job - but, no one will demand resignations... one and all. We'll just go on Facebook and complain.
One thing that strikes me throughout all of the news - the tirades - the announcements - the videos - is the fact that we, as a species, are in danger of losing our humanity.
What is humanity? I'm challenged to define it. To me, it's more than being 'human'. It encompasses compassion, welcomeness, openness, charity, empathy, kindness, feelings, smiling, laughing, crying, togetherness, and so much more. Humanity defines not just our sense of self, but our self of others. It's a measure of how we appear in the world and how we act - everything we do reflects our humanity, or lack thereof.
I'm worried that we are so divisive these days, we are willing to dissect the humanity out of our lives. In an effort to prove our viewpoint (to show the world we're right and the others are wrong - when there is no right and wrong in many of the arguments being spewed about)... we are leaving our humanity on the cutting room floor, so to speak. It's not worth worrying about, I guess. It hinders us in our goals to winning - it binds our hands and cripples our thinking and wants us to remember that the people we're railing at, are, really, just like us. "We have met the enemy," Pogo once said... "And he is us." Sigh.
I would like to bring the humanity back into the conversation. That means recognizing that some of us will always be among the poorest of the poor, and of that group of people, most do not wallow in the day to day struggle of making ends meet - even when those ends are supported by "welfare." In fact, there are many children and elderly in that category and if we do not have the humanity to care for our children and our elderly, then... what kind of people are we?
That's MY big beef. Taking care of each other should be our primary purpose- if we do that, goodness will flow from it. And yes, the government is responsible for its people. For those who cannot take care of themselves. We, the citizens, need to step up...yes, but the government needs to lend a helping hand and to make sure big business doesn't protect the executives at the expense of the employees - primarily by cutting benefits and paying us so little we can't survive.
Embracing our humanity means being more thoughtful about what we do and say. It means acknowledging that we aren't always right. It means giving in on one thing or another - as long as it doesn't mean putting our children or elderly at risk. It means looking at a world-view - because we live in the whole world, not just in the U.S.
I'll try to be better in 2013. How about you?