This one's for humanity

by David Hartsough (2017-11-23)

I'd like to throw a pity party.

(You're all welcome to join. Just let me know and I'll get the pizza.)

This one's for humanity.

Growing up, I was always learning about the past. My schooling focused on the social, economic, political, technological, intellectual, and cultural aspects of human civilization, so I spent plenty of time daydreaming in classrooms about what it might be like to have been a part of an earlier generation of humanity. During those times of empathetic reflection, I was often left with a sense of pity for the people of the past.

"I sure am glad I don't have to hunt or farm for my every meal."

"I sure am glad I don't have to work for someone for shelter, safety, and security."

Generally, I would be thankful for the advancements in economic, political, and social justice and rights, in intellectual understandings of humanity and the universe, and in technology that has simplified life.

Today, however, I am often learning about the future, and I realize that humanity still has so much further to go. When I daydream about what it might be like to be a part of a future generation of humanity, I begin to recognize the cyclical nature of each generation pitying the people of the past. When pondering humanity in its current state, what might future generations think during times of empathetic reflection?

"I sure am glad I don't have to pay someone for all my fundamental human needs using some fluctuating, regional-specific currency."

"I sure am glad I don't have to spend more than a quarter of my waking, adult life working for someone in order to obtain that currency."

Sometimes these daydreams make me wish I could've been born in a future generation; where I could live my life not worrying about depleting my valuable time and energy working for someone to make money to meet my basic needs; where I could focus on my relationships, connections, and social endeavors, on my education, learning, and intellectual endeavors, and on my creations, achievements, and cultural endeavors.

"Wouldn't it be nice if humanity dedicated its attention and intention toward striving for what is best for both humanity and the world? Wouldn't it be nice if humanity could define its purpose in fostering flourishing, rather than in individual attempts to scrape a sense of meaning out of the scraps of work done at the office for managers and business owners?"

Lately these idealistic thoughts are the inspiration for innovative imagination and the motivation for action. Sure, we can take a moment to throw a pity party for humanity, but (after a few tears into some of that delicious Hawaiian pizza that I ordered) we should soon find ourselves optimistic about our opportunities. I believe that idealism is a catalyst for revision. When we look at the ideal, we get a glimpse of what it would be to attain the actualization of our potentiality. Then once we've had a taste, we can either sit in self-centered sympathy or instill in ourselves a longing to move ever closer toward perfection. We look at where we are and realize that we have so much room for improvement — so much further to go. Idealism, perfectionism, and striving for the best help us turn these pity parties into a sense of direction on where we should go next. All we have to do now is make an assessment of how we can start moving forward, onward, and upward.

If we believe that every human deserves the right to flourish, then we need to define what human flourishing means and ensure that all humanity is given the resources and the environment necessary for fostering flourishing. But before we dive into this evaluation, let's finish out the pity party with a

P.S. Oh dear. I didn't finish this. Womp.

Dear reader, I'm terribly sorry that I never finished writing this. Even I am curious to know how I was going to end the pity party. It's a big bummer to not go out with a bang when throwing a pity party. Perhaps I'll finish this soon.

As with all my writings, if you have a strong desire to for me to elaborate on the thoughts here, then please reach out to me and let me know. I promise I'll listen, as it turns out that I'm rather receptive to encouragement.

Send me an email and I'll get back to you eventually. (My timeliness depends on the email, the weather, the day of the week, the month of the year, the state of the economy, and the amount of time that has past since I last ate a bowl of cereal.)