This I Believe

Mardi - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Entered on June 16, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe in humanity. I do not believe in the inherent goodness of humanity, nor in the inherent sinfulness of humanity, nor any inherent quality at all. I believe that from the first emergence of human beings that we have been working on becoming human, creating our humanity. It is something that each of us does with our lives and that all of us do together as communities and societies. It is something we are, together, deciding to become.

Studies have shown that when the views of a large number of people are taken into consideration, the majority view is remarkably accurate in anticipating and predicting outcomes of situations and events. I believe that together we can accomplish remarkable things that we cannot achieve alone. I also believe that the participation of each individual in the whole of humanity is the essence of our humanity.

The power of our individual capabilities, when added together, is a tremendous force. It is a power which we can use for anything we choose. When we choose, together, motivations of self-serving or hatred, we do greater harm than any of us individually. When a majority reaches a consensus of anger, blame and suspicion, we are capable of terrible acts against our fellow beings.

But I believe that we are creating our humanity. We can look at what we have chosen to become and decide, together, “no, this is not what our humanity will be”. We can set up boundaries and warnings to pass on to our children. Shaping our humanity is a solemn and terrible duty in which each of us must participate with all our heart, soul and will.

However, I believe also, that even in the darkest of times, there are those who have a greater capacity for a vision and a courage and a determination that will raise them higher than the rest of us. And in rising to new levels these ones raise the level of human potential to a higher awareness and capability. They draw others after them so that humanity becomes something better than it was before. And in this, also, we can join in the shaping of our humanity. Each of us can take up the joyful obligation of ascending with these high-flying ones who show the way to what we want our humanity to become.