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Humanity: In Perspective
By Jo A. Witt
Copyright 2004


There is a saying, that wisdom comes with age, and I believe that that is true. Or at least it’s true for those who take the time to analyze life and to learn from it.

Although I do not view myself as “old,” at only 41, I still believe that already I have observed and learned much from life. I think the most important thing that I have observed in humanity is the lack of humaneness in the way people treat others. Of equal importance is people having the wrong priorities in life, seeking to achieve only temporal milestones that have no lasting value. There is an overemphasis on “things” and an underemphasis on people. There’s an overemphasis on career success, no matter what people may be hurt in the process. There is an overemphasis on careers, that have only temporary value, and an underemphasis on caring for and raising our children, something of lasting value to humanity overall. Indeed, overall, it seems that the humaneness is lacking in nearly all aspects of life. Doesn’t anyone really care about his human “brother” anymore? Or are the days of humaneness long past?

I have heard that both in a marriage now “have” to work just to “get by.” And then I look at what their definition of “getting by” is. Why is it that “getting by” has to mean having a newer home with new furniture, two new cars to drive, along with plenty of money-consuming entertainment? Does this really represent a “happy” lifestyle? And if we are so “happy” “getting by” like this, than why such a booming market for anti-depressants?

There was a song several years ago, titled “What the World Needs Now, Is Love Sweet Love.” How true indeed - only through loving and being loved do we find true contentment in life. That is, true happiness is found via our interactions with others - not through career success, not via all the “things” our money can buy.

I have learned in life that the best way to get along with other people, is to try to understand why they are as they are. My life has not been an easy one, but through the things I have experienced, I am better able to understand how others feel when they experience similar things. The Indian saying, “Walk a mile in my moccasins” indeed holds true - only through having common experiences, are we able to truly understand others. Even so, there is a reason for why all of us are the way that we are, typically due to our life’s circumstances. Maybe rather than cast aside those we find difficult to get along with, instead we should make the effort to get to know them better - to come to understand what has led them to be as they are. It makes such a huge difference.

Compassion - I wonder at times if compassion is still alive today in our society. There certainly doesn’t seem to be enough of it, that’s for sure. Have we really become so self-centered as to not even notice or care when those around us are hurting? How unfortunate indeed. In my own life I have seen this way too many times. We are all sharing this earth together - shouldn’t we be humane enough to care about those around us? I think all of us need to become better “people observers.” We need to truly try to understand people better. We need to CARE. We need to show more compassion towards others. We need to lift each other up and help each other to keep going - we need to LOVE. And we need to never lose perspective of what is temporal and what truly lasts. Career success and “things” are temporary - but the lives you touch with compassionate caring, can filter down through the generations and have a lasting impact on humanity as a whole.


08/26/04




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