The Pagan Experience – Humanity

How do you define “humanity”? What is your contribution to the collective space of humanity? How does your spiritual path support this definition and contributions?

This week, The Pagan Experience’s prompt is about humanity. The dictionary has two definitions of this word:

1. all human beings collectively; the human race; humankind

2. the quality or condition of being human; human nature

My own view of this word includes these definitions, I would hope anyway, otherwise you probably wouldn’t understand what I meant if I said the word in conversation, would you? This is the reason for language, to communicate as clearly as possible with other people, right?

But that all aside, humanity to me generally means all of us as a whole, and how each individual experiences being human. It’s fraught with many emotions and changing thoughts, most of the time things we can’t even really keep up with. Only in those actual moments of action do we find out who we are, the rest of the time, we’re usually flailing about, trying to convince ourselves of who we really are by talking ourselves up to others. I think that each of us experiences our own humanity differently than others. In fact, I believe there are many different ways to experience it, some themes will be more prominent in my lifetime, and others more prominent in yours.

To use the popular imagery that some have of the gods (myself at one point as well), humanity is like that many faceted jewel, each of us will deal with specific faces of it, connect with different aspects, the things that resonate with us the most in this lifetime. I also believe we choose what aspects to work with in each life, just like we choose what lessons we will focus on each incarnation.

What I also believe humanity to be is a sort of duty to ourselves, our fellow humans, and other beings, whether living or spirit, corporeal or no. To treat all with the respect and kindness we would like for ourselves. To allow others to be who they are, and explore that, just as we would want. I suppose in this, I see a sort of reciprocal relationship between the self and the whole of humanity. Yes, it is daunting to view the world as it is, with all the messed up bullshit that happens every day, every minute. Yet, the only way to improve it is to be, in just yourself, what you want the rest of the world to be.

How does this impact my path? How does this influence my contributions to humanity? This has made me become more open, more understanding that each person is on their own path, whatever that may be. For the most part, as long as you are not harming anyone/thing, if what you think/do nourishes you on any level, all the power to you. It has made me sympathetic to many people’s plights. It has emboldened me when I see injustices, prejudices, racism, sexism, whatever, to speak out against it. I will never understand why it is that a person can hold such ridiculous things as skin colour and gender against another human being (amongst a gazillion other things).

To sort of sum it all up, my humanity is seeing that collectively, your experiences are valid. Your choices are valid. Your entire existence is valid. You are the sovereign of your own body/life/beliefs/spirituality. Why do I have any right to say otherwise to any of the choices you make? It’s something I work on, in trying not to speak ill of others, in not getting involved in petty things. We all won’t agree on everything, that doesn’t mean the other person doesn’t deserve respect.

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