Ramesh gave some coins to a beggar when we were walking towards our weekly meeting. With that, our chat took a turn on the frequently used quote about ‘give fish v/s teach fishing’. We proposed that as a topic for our weekly meeting.
“Giving fish to a hungry person is an important humanitarian work. It is required and must be done. But it is not enough. He will be hungry again. The humanist work is to address the issue at the roots.”
Why is the person a beggar in the first place? What is at the root? As we dived deeper, larger perspectives started unfolding. In the society there is inequality. All human beings do not get equal opportunities for education, health and quality of life. It is an irony that after thousands of years of evolution, humanity has reached this stage, where life of some human beings is more important than others and for the profit and power of few, life of millions is doomed.
The discussion was turning out more and more disgusting. We are boasting human advancement to the extent of mission of Mars, but we do not speak about the poverty and death of millions for want of basic necessities. We talk about the virtue of kindness but do not feel ashamed about the exploitation of millions. We protest the use of plastic, but rarely do we protest annihilation of humans. We boast about the development of deadly weapons but do not pause to think whether humanity needs weapons at all.
“We are living in a dehumanised society and the work at the root is to work for humanisation.”
Humanity has advanced but is it for benefit of only a few? When a small percentage controls almost all resources leaving big majority in deprivation, is it really a human society? Is a child born in Sudan less human then a child born in USA?
“We need not feel guilty about this state of the humanity. We have not created it. But at the same time, we know the importance and we should work to build a better human society. And we can do it joyfully.”
“That is the objective of ‘The Community (for human development).”
We learnt that formed in 1980, it is a social and cultural organisation working all over the world. It has thousands of volunteers acting in diverse spheres of life with the objective of humanising the earth. Its objective is to study and develop a new culture based on equality of all human beings. That approach is also called Universal Humanism.
It opposes all forms of violence beyond mere pacifism. It proclaims that by not opposing violence one supports it. Thus, it promotes active non-violence.
“It has a symbol of a triangle indicating friendship, help and experience covered with a circle indicating equality of all human beings.”
It sounded more like idealism. We are living in a dehumanised world where human life is compromised at every step. This system is all pervasive. How can a group of people change it? Majority of us will surrender to this stark reality. However, the members of the Community believe in taking initiative and working for the transformation.
I was wondering how could one reconcile the urgencies of one’s own challenges and working for influencing the world?
“The personal and social are closely connected. The violence of the society breeds violence within, and that in turn projects violence outside.”
I realised that working for transforming the society gives a solid foundation to one’s life and that in turn helps one overcome one’s own suffering.
“The work of the Community is proposed as a different and intentional way of thinking, feeling and acting in life. It is to work for simultaneous personal and social transformation. The members place this work as a center of their life and take a commitment to work for humanising the earth.”
What do you want to do in life? To humanise the Earth. Realising the importance of having a profound project in life, I was progressing in my journey to becoming better human being.