“With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost.” – William Lloyd Garrison
Of course we each have our understanding of what being a human means and live our life accordingly! But are we humane?
Being humane is the overarching term that embodies all the best and positive qualities of humankind. Every single day we face ‘choices’ to either be empathetic and compassionate or the converse. Do we always choose humane qualities that guarantee we are tender and kind to other humans and to our animals and plants? Hmmm……
Today we live in tough times and inhumane behavior is rampant. We are resorting to unkindness, turning blind to the sufferings of other humans, and inflicting cruelty on them and the planet we live on. Cruelty encompasses all acts of commission and omission that allow us to perpetrate misery and suffering on others/our planet and turn a blind eye to the distress and pain of others. Not surprisingly, we humans who regard ourselves as ‘superior’, are the only ones for whom cruelty is a thought out act and actually a motivating factor. Tsk, tsk!
“The greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being humane” – Mahatma Gandhi – a concept lost and forgotten by most! Our species evolved, and developed quickly the skills that allow us to be the ‘overseers’ of this planet. Yes, overseers/agents – not owners. While this brings immense responsibility, it also brings a sense of false supremacy – making us humans drunk with power. This drunkenness is what leads us to be inhumane in our ethical dilemma challenges.
While some feel morally compelled to act and fight maladies, disease, injustice, hunger, and other evils, the drunken ones use these inequities to suppress, torture, and even gain more inebriated power. The role of stewards of this planet completely changes with such – no responsibility only power and dominion.
Being humane is about assuming the responsibility of this stewardship and carrying out our duties as humans towards ourselves, others, and the planet.