People often think of humanity as the human race. However, vocabulary.com adds to that by defining humanity as “the qualities that make us human, such as the ability to love and have compassion, be creative, and not be a robot or alien.”
These qualities are what define us and tie us together as a group. Yet, it seems that there are an increasing number of people who don’t have a strong connection to humanity. They may relate to some aspects of the uniqueness of the human race, but seem to struggle to in other areas to connect with people.
For example, people who commit unprovoked violence against themselves or other people clearly lack compassion and a strong connection to humanity. This is likely the reason for the rise in mass shootings. Shootings have been blamed on video games, guns, and other things. However, it is most likely that a major contributing factor is that individuals who commit these crimes are disconnected from humanity. It is this same disconnection that makes gangs appealing to some people. It is simple. Any connection, even a really bad one, is better than no connection at all.
These groups may use violence as a bonding element. However, normally it is nearly impossible for people who feel love to commit violence except in situations of jealousy or temporary insanity. With the connection to humanity comes a knowing that you are a part of a community. As a part of something bigger, people have a greater purpose and more meaning in their life.
Today, many people have distance between themselves and other people. For example, it is possible for people to basically never leave their home. They can work, take classes, bank, and purchase almost everything they need without leaving home. This creates physical distance between the person and other people in their community. More importantly, the ability to distance one’s self weakens the person’s bond with humanity. As such, it becomes easier for the qualities that make us human to diminish.
If we take a look back one hundred years, people needed to interact with other people in order to survive. That interaction in the town square, schools, churches, and the people’s homes gave people a strong connection to humanity and to the needs of others. It isn’t that there wasn’t any violence in those days. However, most people felt connected to each other and supported each other.
I Beg To Disagree
In years gone by, disagreements were just disagreements. Yes, there were occasional lawsuits and from time to time a shooting over the issue. However, today disagreements have moved to an entirely different level. Since people can survive without depending on friends and neighbors, many people have become individuals instead of part of the community. As such, their connection to humanity has diminished.
With the weakened connection to humanity, comes a lack of love and compassion, which have led many people to believe that their opinion is the only one of value. They are unwilling or unable to see other people’s points of view. As a result, lawsuits are immediate, unfriending common, and threats of violence not unusual.
Some people go so far as believing that their belief or opinion is the “chosen” one. If it tramples on someone else’s beliefs or opinions, they don’t even understand why that would be an issue because they “know” they are right. However, they are not stopping and considering the other person at all. They simply feel they have the superior stance. This takes us back to the issue of seeing one’s self as an individual rather than a member of humanity.
We need to once again gain our sense of community and our focus on the attributes that make us human. People don’t all have to agree. Instead, people need to see each other as valuable, no matter how different their opinions may be from their own. It is only through valuing each other as humans that we can solve problems and make the world a better place to live.