Growing up, we are taught above all things to respect others, to be polite, to share, and at the very least, to not be rude and run the risk of embarrassing our parents.But one might ask, where does this practice of caring for other people come from? Why is our youth focused on how treat each other, embedded in the value of manners? Some might say it’s a simple preparation for social interaction as adults, but I believe it’s something more. I believe it comes from an inner desire to care for each other, to reach out to other humans and feel the warmth of their love; to experience their pain, their sorrow, and their joy. I believe in the innate sense of fellowship that guides us all, regardless of differences in beliefs and opinions. It’s evident in the fact that we as humans feel the need to bond together in times of hardship, the idea that individually we can achieve something better than ourselves and have an impact that will carry on long after we have passed. Our sense of community guides us to act in the way that would best serve those we care about, and ultimately, we should strive to care about everyone, that the stranger in the checkout line is dear to us by virtue of being human, by our realization of their capacity to hope, to dream and aspire. Regardless of what may be argued, I believe that this is what makes us human, greater than reason or self-awareness is our ability to dream, to dream for a better life and a better world, and for this alone we should uphold an undying love for each other, for the human race. My hope, my dream, is for everyone who reads this to push themselves outside of their emotional barrier and share my compassion for others, for everyone, and in that instant the world will find itself in a happier place.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.