An Open Letter To Humanity
How Does One Address One’s Own Species
An Open Letter To Humanity – Dear Humans – Dear People – Hey You? Perhaps one just speaks from the heart in the hope that like minded individuals will be drawn to the message – and then be willing to share it – and in the process perhaps open the eyes and minds of others.
If you believe in evolution – our ancestors walked out of the shadows of the great apes and into the dawn of a new age. A time for homo sapiens to learn and flourish. A time to guide and nurture those over whom we held dominion. Perhaps even then – we believed ourselves to be superior beings.
Homo sapiens – our ancestors (those who walk erect) have been doing so for centuries. Humans evolved in Africa. Some say as long ago as 500,000 to a million plus years. Others claim 200,000 and still more schools of thought say 50,000 years ago.
It is debatable when homo sapiens first controlled fire and made it a useful tool for cooking and generating warmth. Time lines vary from 125,000 to 400,000 to over a million years ago. Homo sapiens were creative and they made their first stone tools and extended the reach and purpose of their arms and hands.
With the development of tools – man could make a choice to use said instruments for good or evil. On far too many instances – he chose evil and he continues to do so. In 2015 – these weapons are sophisticated killing machines and man does not hesitate to use them on each other – animals and the planet.
The domesticating of animals and plants for human use has been practised for over 12,000 years. As the centuries passed man came to see himself as advanced and knowledgeable. He formed governments, cultures, cities, states, regions, religions, finances, churches, education, artistic ventures and finally empires. He learned about power and the great advantages that it brought. He learned how to bring his fellow man to his knees – he learned to control his environment and the creatures – and he liked the feeling.
In the 19th and 20th centuries man made great strides in industry, medicine and health, travel, science, technology and finance and profit. He fought advanced wars and learned how to bend people and nature to his will. He saw himself as civilized. He could be whoever he wanted to be and accomplish whatever he could imagine.
There are now over 7 billion people on earth. Nature cannot withstand the destruction that mankind is raining down on her and the population explosion cannot be sustained. Earth’s resources are finite – but we are too ignorant to acknowledge this.
In our arrogance mankind has forgotten that the sentient beings with whom we share the planet have been around for much longer than our tentative tenure on earth. Elephants and rhinos – now so threatened by our greed and corruption – have roamed the plains and nurtured their families for more than 50 million years. We denigrate their emotions – their family life and the incredible culture they have developed. We do not respect their wisdom.
Humans don’t miss any opportunity to take advantage of another person – a creature – a country – a place or a situation. We are equal opportunity exploiters. Nothing – absolutely nothing is sacred or off limits. As we continue on our path of conquest and destruction we have set aside the very things that make human beings so fine. The incredible power of kindness, compassion, honesty, generosity, fairness, justice, truth and caring.
In their place we have learned to worship greed – money – power and status. We accept corruption and look the other way when we see cruelty and evil. In the process of devaluing animals and the planet – we have debased ourselves beyond recognition. Humanity has become a vulgar, destructive, consuming species.
We worship ‘celebrity’ as people once did the golden calf and other false idols. We give people we do not know a say in our lives and our decisions. We buy what they wear and follow their often trite and valueless lives – because we believe that we want to be like them. We line up to see them – waiting for hours – and yell and scream for them and do the things that they suggest – as if we have no minds of our own. Why?
We idolize technology and have become robotic slaves to the very tools that were meant to connect us and give us more time. We have never been more isolated. The hackneyed minutiae of texts and e-mails passes as conversation. The newest phrase consumes us – the most recent one being “awesome”. Most things that I see every day that carry this sadly over-used and common label are singularly lacking in “awe”.
We use religion as an excuse for purges and barbarism that is unconscionable. The state of the world today from a political, religious, economic and moral stand point is tragic. This in no way takes away from the incredible good being done by untold millions of people. But it is not enough. The ‘terror’ that plagues the world today is a result of isolation – abject poverty – the perversion of religion – tyrannical leadership – lack of education – ignorance – hunger – greed – corruption and power-mongering. These are the concerns that must be tackled globally. Things will never change as long as humanity accepts these issues as somehow ‘normal’.
More people must wake up to the realization that we are all in this together. We all need to contribute to a greater good. You don’t get to tune out and not play your part. Humanity is a collective. We need to start asking- “what can I do to help”?
The planet offers us plenty for all. But the benefits are not shared in the necessary proportions and we accept this. We think we have no power.
As Alice Walker so wisely said: “The most common way people give away their power is by thinking they don’t have any”.
We follow selfish, corrupt leaders who make promises that they never plan to keep and who refuse, once elected, to address our concerns when we express them. We throw up our hands and say “c’est la vie” and then complain and complain and complain. But we do not “do”. We follow them into wars that are not necessary and allow corruption and greed to flourish. The cost of wars today would feed and clothe people for centuries. Why do we follow? Why have we forgotten how to think and speak?
What we do not want to acknowledge we hide away. We close doors. We choose not to know what really goes on around us. We are too sensitive for the ugly things that happen in the world. We let others do our bidding – out of sight and out of mind. Why?
Nowhere on earth is this more evident than in the way that we treat our magnificent planet earth, disadvantaged people and the animals who we believe are here to serve us. We think that animals are eager to give up their lives so that we may live in comfort. To surrender their bodies so we can consume them and their hides so that we may have clothing. We take and take and take. What is no longer useful to us – we kill. And we keep on killing and killing and killing – animals by the ‘billions’ every year! Say that out loud – “BILLIONS” …
Humans connect with “mercy” when it is for ourselves. We pray to our god(s) and ask to be delivered from pain and suffering and to be on the receiving end of mercy. We know all about personal emotional mercy for ourselves and our loved ones. But we lack in the above mentioned moral and intellectual mercy – the mercy that enables us to look at another human or a sentient being and to understand that they too are deserving of mercy. If we understood mercy – our broken world would be miraculously cured.
We exist in a time when the following human behaviour has become accepted as some kind of psychotic, every day “normal”.
The destruction of our planet for greed.
Beheading our fellow men and women.
Attaching bombs to children in city centres and blowing them up.
Waging illegal wars and plundering the lands of others.
Allowing dictators to live in luxury as their subjects starve.
Stoning women to death.
Rape and violence against women and children.
Pouring acid on the faces of women in the name of “family honour”.
Human trafficking and slavery.
Cruelty towards animals that can hardly be imagined. What man can think of – man can do to those who have no voice.
The unrestricted poaching of endangered animals.
Tolerating crush videos where animals are slowly and systematically tortured to death for the sexual gratification of perverts and the acceptance of beastiality brothels in many “civlilized” countries.
Skinning animals while they are still alive for the ugly vanity of the fashion industry.
Trapping live animals and claiming “tradition and culture”.
Boiling animals alive or cooking them with blow torches.
Eating animals while they are still alive.
The yearly slaughters of dolphins and whales at Taiji and The Faroe Islands.
The unnecessary seal slaughters wherever they are held.
The killing of millions of healthy pet dogs and cats every year in the “shelter” system.
Dousing cats and dogs with gasoline and setting them on fire for fun.
Throwing living dogs – cats – goats – sheep and donkeys off mountain ledges for a laugh.
Experimenting on animals without pain relief.
The list goes on and on and on.
I have people say to me all the time – “It’s sad but I can’t do anything. I have no influence”. I say “that is your excuse for doing nothing and staying in your comfortable bubble world”.
We have the world we live in now because “we” have agreed to it.
Why are people in every country not demanding that world religious leaders stand up together and stop this orgy of religious madness that is occurring in the Middle East. If they can’t stop it – why does anyone follow them?
If we were all engaged in making the world a better place – if we all took an active role in the welfare of the planet – our fellow citizens and the creatures with whom we inhabit the earth – we would NOT tolerate the nonsense and corruption that is happening today.
If children were taught the importance of global involvement – if volunteering was encouraged and rewarded – if parents talked about these issues around the dinner table – if consequences for bad behaviour were enforced – if people turned off their STUPID ‘smart’ phones and the values of kindness – fairness – compassion and honesty were heralded as loudly as the nonsense on reality TV – we would amaze ourselves! – (I actually have friends who watch The Bachelor – it makes me want to weep).
Humans are desperately in need of an awakening of intelligence. We don’t demand enough of ourselves. We need more reading – more discussion – more debate over coffee – more questioning. An appreciation of our intellectual prowess not just the same dull pretty/handsome quotient that makes people desirable or marketable today. Character – honesty – integrity – loyalty used to be the watchwords before we became obsessed with worshipping at the alter of power – technology – wealth and stuff.
We humans have it within ourselves to be great but we are not taught from childhood to claim this birthright. So most of us settle for a safe, average and easy life. Others willingly choose mediocrity. Many feel that they have no options – so they do nothing.
But we can be better. Ask yourself what you are going to do today, tomorrow, next week and the week after that to contribute to a better world – and then get up – go out and do it. We will move beyond mediocrity when we require it of ourselves. Then we will no longer settle for leaders who are not inclusive, fair, just and honourable. If you say this is not possible then you have already surrendered to the status quo.
I prefer to believe in the words of Albert Einstein
“You Never Fail Until You Stop Trying”