I’ve got a batch of granola in the oven. Tomorrow, when I return to school for my first teacher in-service day, I’ll bring a glass jar full of it to my teaching partner. A little something from me to her. A small sharing of something good. The tiniest of reminders: we’re in this together.
And we are. All of us. Strangers and friends and colleagues alike. Men, women, children. Races and religions. Military and civilian. Haves and have nots. This community and the one across the border. I am human … and so are you. We are human and we’re all in this together.
Maybe it’s time to spread a little more of that humanity around. Probably it’s even past time. It’s never too late for a kindness, though, and now’s as good a time as any to bring such thoughts right smack to the forefront of my consciousness.
As the only humans living here, it’s our responsibility to make the world a better place. Each of us. Your world. My world. Our world. The world we all live in. The world we raise our children in.
The world I’m about to teach my students in.
What do I want those children to know about being human? How do I live humanity out in my own life? In what ways can I be more giving? Who needs my help?
It is human to help: There are as many ways to help as there are people who need help. Think about family, friends, neighbors. New moms and dads. The elderly. Is there a meal you could cook? Laundry to be washed? A resume you could write? A lawn to be mowed? Who could use a babysitter? A ride? A quick trip to the grocery store? A smile?
It is human to give: When I think about the most giving people I know, it’s easy to see what they all have in common. For starters, they’re good listeners. They’re quick to recognize need when they see it, and they’re first in line to help. And there’s so much to give! As humans, we have so much to offer! Our time. Our respect. Our attention. Friendship. Love. Guidance. Gratitude.
Of course there are many more ways to be human. I’ve written about the verbs of kindness before and reaching out in humanity is sort of similar – it’s just that humanity is also understanding the commonalities we share, the hand-to-hand-to-hand connections between us, and the knowledge that I see you and honor you … and I hope you see and honor me too.
So I’ll be looking around more consciously human than ever before. I’ll be more consciously looking to see, honor, help, and give.
And maybe that’s what I want my students to know first: I see you and honor you. I will help you. From one human to another … I will give you my best.
And we’re all in this together.