Man is one: greatness and animal fused together. None of his acts is pure charity. None is pure bestiality.
Mariama Bâ – Senegalese novelist.
Many times, I’ve had to wonder why I was born human and not a bird, a fish or plant. I mean, why was I not ever consulted by what/whoever was in charge of creation before being molded in a form that I now find myself? Could it be that I lacked what was required to be born as something different or that I passed a test too well to not have been born a human being? What could it be? This question, which I’ve had the grace to resolve only as I grew in years and wisdom now have a conclusion in my heart: I am what I am; and to the fullest will I live out what I am. But if there comes a day I have a say in what form I would love to take (aside the human form), maybe, just maybe, I just might go for a far more simpler entity that has nothing to do with evil.
In any case, what was it that actually informed this out-of-place-thought turned post? Why have I suddenly found myself thinking humans, wanting to urge humans and more importantly, reminding humans how best to be humans? Kindly indulge me and read on.
I was raised to be kind—very kind, though not so stupid to not know when to be less kind. (NOTE: Less kind, not totally unkind). You see, kindness isn’t always about what we believe it to be: giving out money, food or other materials. No. Kindness goes beyond our deeds. Kindness stems from the deepest part of our heart, our essence. Kindness is love. And it doesn’t take much from us to be kind if we allow ourselves to be. I’m no saint and I dare not say that I’m kindness personified. But I’ve lived long enough to have an awareness that we— humans have constructed for ourselves a very unkind world where everybody lives for himself and yet, blames the world for being unkind.
One of my many personal experiences with humans and kindness:
In a four passenger cab one very sunny afternoon while awaiting the driver who had excused himself for his private business, a man came asking for either a token to buy water to drink or be given the water itself no matter how small. Normally, I don’t often hear people asking particularly for the things they needed, instead, they ask for money to buy them. So I thought it strange to hear such a two-fold request but nevertheless hoped that one of my co-passengers who actually had two bottles of water—one already half-empty—would be kind enough to help the thirsty man. But no, I was in for a shock. This other man, my co-passenger shooed the thirsty man away in the most condescending manner, brought out his half-empty bottle of water and emptied it all on hand rinsing! The other side of kindness huh? You’re very right, cruelty is what it’s called!
The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others.
Albert Schweitzer – German theologian and philosopher.