Above all is humanity, none else

A Humanity Initiative essay states: “There is, of course, no end to the magnificence and horror in the human drama. Across the continents, humanity rises to every challenge, sinks to any depth. We cherish each heartbeat and murder at will. We bless nature’s miracles, yet trash the hood.”

In order to make the world a more peaceful place everyone should think about humanity. It seems all too often that people only think about their local community, nation or their religion and they discount everyone else. We can no longer wait for our faith to save humanity. We have to take actions and we can save the humanity. This does not mean we cannot be proud of our community, proud of our nation, proud of our culture, or proud of our faith. It means we need to first think about humanity as a whole and not only our community, nation and not only our culture or not only our faith.

If I respect my nation, my community, my culture or my faith then I should respect nation, community, culture or faith of everyone else. The one thing we all have in common is that we are human beings. We all have a common dream of living in a peaceful world and we all dream of a prosperous future for our family. We must have respect for each other.

It is the people vs. humanity because if the people do not work on saving humanity then humanity will implode, continuously fighting and killing itself off, without ever fulfilling our dreams. It’s not about all thinking the same way or doing the same things. We can work towards a better future and at the same time be tolerant of our differences while keeping humanity as our foundation to build on.

The hallmarks of Indian civilization since the pre-Vedic period are diversity, tolerance, and acceptability. The Indian civilization prospered and survived thousands of years because of this nature despite series of onslaughts on this civilization. The Indian civilization has always given preference to humanity over everything else.

Swami Vivekananda in his famous speech at Chicago in Sep 1893 had said:

We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to the southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation.

Sectarianism, bigotry, and their horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But their time is come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honor of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.

Differences are normal and should always be welcome, but any demonic thought that intends to harm the humanity should be nipped in the bud. When we speak of tolerance, it’s expected from each of us. There should not be any intolerant action by anybody that may incite others to react in an intolerant manner. Many a time, we expect tolerance from others while we behave in an intolerant manner. There should be a single scale to measure, a single mirror to reflect and that is humanity.

I quote a 15th century poet of Bengal — Chandidas, who said:

“সবার উপর মানুষ সত্য, তাহার উপরে নেই”

In English, it means: “Above all is humanity, none else.”

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