A Guide in Humane Awareness
When you had the experience:
Here is my personal experience in which I witnessed someone being humane towards another:
Not many people would disagree with the fact that we should promote kindness in children, starting from an early age. However, we need to promote kindness in all people, young and old, all the time. Learning about kindness, cruelty and humane concepts is not just for kids. When we explore and reflect upon these concepts, we are activating and stimulating our innate humaneness, leading us towards carrying out humane acts towards others and ourselves.
There is an organization based in Denver, Colorado, called The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, which was established in 1995. As a delegate to the World Kindness Movement, which includes various nations, the Foundation is spreading kindness and compassion throughout the world. The organization also prepares and disseminates school and community lesson aids and programs which help people discover, for themselves, the power of kindness to effect positive change in the world and in oneself. In promoting Random Acts of Kindness Weeks and Days throughout the world, the Foundation notes that "it is the completely unexpected gestures to or from total strangers that have the most impact on our lives."
There is another organization called the Human Kindness Foundation, located in Durham, North Carolina. This group "stresses a way of life based upon three common principles taught by the great sages of all religions: Simple living, a dedication to service, and a commitment to personal spiritual practice." Co-Founder, Bo Lozoff, established the Ashram-Prison program for inmates who are looking to change their lives. The program "inspires and encourages prisoners and prison staff to recognize their depth as human beings, and to behave accordingly."
Both these organizations, in promoting kindness, offer the opportunity for us to be aware while we are witnessing one being humane towards another. In leading people to be kind, these organizations make us stop to think about the presence or lack of humaneness in our lives, leading us towards making the decision to be humane.
We strengthen our humane spirit when we promote kindness through being kind and humane in our relations with our friends, family members, co-workers, neighbours and strangers. One may have a thought, for example, that someone we know would benefit from an act of kindness. This thought can remain a thought or it can be transformed into an action. In seizing the occasion to be kind and humane to others and oneself, we also provide the opportunity for others to witness humaneness, and to recognize this quality in themselves.
Copyright © Kenneth Hemmerick 2005