It’s Time to #Rehumanize
Sometimes the insanity of this world is enough to make a person want to go numb. Yet it is through our feelings, even the most unbearable feelings, that we experience what it truly means to be human. Desensitizing is dehumanizing. The solution to this problem is to awaken a sense of connection within one’s self and with others. This is a journey of rehumanizing for ourselves, for our friends, and for our place in the natural ecosystem of life.
Sometimes when things go horribly wrong we look for someone, anyone that we can blame for our woes. Temporarily this might make us feel a little better. The undealt-with grief, sorrow, and fear gets bundled up into anger and is projected at “the other”. This is called demonizing and it is a subtle way that we dehumanize others.
Let’s face it, most of us need a villain in our lives to push the plot along. Humans are somewhat addicted to manufactured crises on the personal and collective level. The problem is that it is too easy to lose ourselves in these patterns of coping. What’s worse is that we can also lose our connection with the natural world and drown ourselves in cynicism without even realizing it.
Some people have even convinced themselves that wallowing in the “life sucks” (#FML) mindset is some sort of hip expression of Nihilism. The other end of the spectrum are the “stay positive” spiritual bypassing folks. Needless to say we can all use some new coping tools. That’s why I recently wrote an article called Rage and Sorrow: Paths to Compassion, Peace, and Power.
HUMANS BEING: The concept of “#Rehumanize” emerged in a conversation I recently had with a dear friend. His name is Merrick Chase and he is a photojournalist traveling the world documenting the human experience across cultures with stunning images. I joined Merrick for the launch of The Humans Being Project and his 2.5 year, 25 country tour at Telluride Mountain Film Festival in May. Since then we communicate regularly about his journey and I assist him with social media through Unify, Culture Collective, and others.
The Humans Being Project (THBP) is a global narrative about people everywhere. Its aim is to communicate to the viewer the inherent sameness that exists within us, in spite of our vast differences. We share the many different faces of our humanity through imagery from all walks of life with the aim of inspiring and connecting. -The Humans Being Mission Statement
Both of us are avid explorers who love nature and adventure but have an even deeper passion for human culture and spreading inspiration. Yet the content of our conversations recently has been filled with lamenting about how isolated, hopeless, and overwhelming life can feel sometimes. Here we are making beautiful media and yet our conversations keep coming back to how depressing it is to see what is happening to our environment, and the endless layers of corruption in governments around the world. The sheer inhumanity of war, poverty, and greed is unbearable. Irony? Tragic comedy? Yes probably!
In these conversations we keep coming back to the same themes:
- Friendship and honest connection with our loved ones is profound medicine.
- Being in service to something bigger than ourselves gives us a sense of purpose and meaning.
- Doing what feels right regardless of desired outcomes is crucial.
- The unknown is scary but it is also a challenge worth exploring.
- Fear, sorrow, depression, loneliness are as common and universal as joy, laughter, and love.
- We are not alone, even if we sometimes feel alone.
INSIDE OUT: Sometimes the external reality has nothing to do with what we are feeling inside. For example, I can be surrounded by friends and feel lonely, or other times I can be alone in the forest and feel connected to everyone. The internal emotional dimension might influence our experience of the outer world more than the other way around. Certainly there is a symbiotic relationship between the two but recognizing the emotional lense through which we are experiencing the world is so important. This requires self-awareness, being connected with our feelings, and being a fully present human. This is rehumanizing.
HOW DO YOU REHUMANIZE? These are some of the ideas that have emerged between two friends conversing from across the globe but the conversation is incomplete without input from you. How do you come back to yourself? How do YOU rehumanize? We wanna know!
By sharing your story on social media either with a short video, or a photo, or written post, you will inspire others who can learn from you. This is empowering. By searching #rehumanize online you might also learn from others about how they find balance in their lives. This is a crowdsourced database on how to cope with the tough times that is healing and contributes to our own evolution. Most of all this social media game can create beautiful connections and remind each of us what it means to be human.
NO NEED TO GO NUMB WE HAVE EACH OTHER: There is enough division in the world, and sadly there is financial incentive to perpetuate it. We all know that humanity is facing some very large challenges right now. We know that there are many bad, broken, and hateful people in the world but we can’t let them take the spotlight forever. Transformation and healing start with individuals stepping up and doing their part, not from the top-down structures that rule our world. This is how collective transformation spreads through clusters of friends and social networks. It has already started and we can see it everywhere if we look for it. We are in this together…
Take some time to follow Merrick’s journey with @thehumansbeingproject on Instagram or their Facebook Page. You can always find my writings here, and be sure to go and follow Unify too. Meanwhile we will be looking for you also on social media by searching for insights under the #rehumanize tag!
Together we are creating a beautiful narrative to balance out the ugliness that dominates news headlines. This is a participatory sport. In this shared process we will help each other along on our journeys from darkness into the light.