How aware are we of the negative impact our individual and our nation’s actions (or inactions) have on the lives of individuals thousands of miles away? I just read about the horrendous floods impacting Bangladesh right now, the end of July 2020. And to a great extent these deadly storms in a gravely impoverished area of the world are the direct result of our nation’s failure to heed what climatologists and other scientists have been proving for decades. This is just one example of millions that should remind us that we are all ONE.

As we continue to ignore the harm we’re causing not only ourselves but others around the globe – not to mention Mother Earth! – we must demand pro-active measures to both limit, control, and reverse actions that are destroying our planet. As pollution from automotive traffic was reduced considerably earlier this year in response to so many taking precautions due to COVID-19, we saw how quickly our skies cleared. Many of us exclaimed that the sky had never been so blue. Of course it always has been “so blue;” we just couldn’t see its vividness thanks to our heavily polluted air. 

Most recognize all the harmful roll-backs on environmental protections the Trump administration has made a priority over the past 3 ½ years. Those actions are appalling. Hopefully they will be quickly nullified when Democrats once again take control this November. I can only imagine how President Joe Biden will have cramped hands from signing new executive orders to undue all the damage his predecessor has set in motion!

For way to long we humans seemingly have forgotten that in addition to being “human,” we’re meant to be “humane.” I’ve blogged about this topic elsewhere, but it bears repeating. Ask yourself what the term “humanity” means to you. How do you demonstrate your humane-ness on a daily basis? Simply being human demonstrates we collectively continue to harm others and denigrate our planet. While there are many ways we perpetrate and SEE the harm we do daily to life around us, when we cast a larger view of the global impact we have, any remaining humanity we may possess cringes with angst to recognize just how egregious our impact is on our entire planet.

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, surely it has demonstrated that every being and part of this world is connected. We are indeed ONE. And when we act in ways that harm one, we in fact are harming ALL. In this moment as we struggle to find healthy and constructive ways to educate our young people, foremost in mind should be teaching – whether in person or virtually – what it means to be HUMANE, thinking of others as well as ourselves. That starts with something as simple as wearing a mask in public to protect others, just as we wish to be protected.

It’s past time to reverse our focus on the proverbial bottom line, while turning our attention to the PEOPLE who make it possible. Wealth or any of the ways it demonstrates through our predominantly material culture has eroded our collective consciousness into the decay we witness all around us.

Just HOW IMPORTANT are all the THINGS we in industrialized societies seem to NEED? We have traded our humanity for MORE STUFF. We’ve lost our understanding and demonstration of empathy, support, and compassion for our fellow human beings. I fear our downward slide will continue unabated until we set ourselves right, recognizing and demonstrating why we were created in the first place.