This is a space to find, celebrate and share what it means to be human—or, to rediscover the human spirit. But before we go further, we should ask: What is the human spirit? It’s hard to say, as each one of us describes it a different way, experiences it uniquely and develops an entirely personal connection to it. But while describing it might prove difficult, understanding it is not. The human spirit is nothing more than life itself—that endless flame we all desperately want to preserve. In this respect, it is not uniquely human, but rather our version of something shared by all living things. It is defined by interdependence, interconnectivity, compassion and love, but can be wooed by greed, ego, vengeance and hate. In this sense, it is something fragile, and it must be guarded and protected.
To see the power of the human spirit, we need not look far. Religion, science, philosophy, and economics have all harnessed this spirit and have done wonders for the advancement of humankind. However, each great step forward creates a giant cloud of dust, blocking our vision forward. Desperate to keep advancing, we blindly move to take another step, but we cannot see what is to come. The byproducts of progress are our greatest challenge, and up until now, our only solution has been more progress. But, instead of immediately setting out for new territory, what if we stopped for a moment to understand where we are? What if we paused to let the dust settle, allowing us to see where we are going? If we were to do this, we would find the solutions to our problems right in front of our eyes.
This brings us to the central tenet of The Human Revolution:
Peace is achieved from within
The answers to our problems do not lay in the promise of progress, but rather in the certainty of the present moment. At any given point in time, we are subjected to endless influences. Whether they come in the form of the people around us, the messages we receive from books, television, films and all other forms of media, our past experiences, or just plain old habit, we are very rarely, if ever, completely ourselves. We are constantly oppressing our inner spirit, either because we feel as though we’ll be judged or because we simply aren’t allowed. This means we are rarely acting entirely autonomously. Instead, our actions are a combination of what is expected of us and what we expect of ourselves. This bounded version of ourselves disconnects us from who we are and causes us to operate in a sort of haze, unaware of the awesome impact of our actions and of the genuine ability we have to control what we do.
We dismiss the possibility of inflicting change on the grounds that we are too small or too insignificant to make a difference. But we are wrong to excuse ourselves, for we, as humans, as living things, are key components of a larger system of life, which means the effects of our actions extend well beyond ourselves and are far from irrelevant.
To bring this to life, we will be looking at some of the more troublesome problems of the world around us, trying to understand how our most insignificant actions are contributing or alleviating these woes. We’re going to take tiny moments, snippets of everyday life, and dig down into what these moments are and where they come from. We’ll look at how the decisions, mistakes and whims of the determiners of history (politicians, corporations and governments) have shaped the world around us. And we’ll look at where and why we’ve turned our back on each other in pursuit of individual gain at the expense of communal well-being.
In other words, we’re going to allow the dust to settle, and we’re going to take a step back and look at the current moment. We’ll get inside all the messy, confusing and hard to understand parts of the world—we’re going to find the human spirit.
We will be discussing some of the world’s most pressing issues to try and foster a more comprehensive understanding of their causes, which will help uncover their solutions. Specifically, topics include, but aren’t limited to:
- Hunger and thirst
- Climate Change and Environmental Degradation
- Income Inequality
- Racial inequality
- Gender inequality
Understanding how our daily actions might be promoting or at the very best not addressing these issues might be tough at times, as it will ask us to question some things we hold dear and to consider making difficult sacrifices. However, it is far better to know more and harm less, than know less and harm more.
In another light, to remember the beauty that still exists in this world, the other purpose of this space is to celebrate the moments when the human spirit breaks free and shows itself. Random acts of kindness, personal sacrifice, love and solidarity do exist in this world. In fact, they are bountiful, but they are often hidden, smothered by the settling dust. It is our job to bring this part of humanity back to life. To do this, we will:
Love difference, embrace compassion and live simply.
The final purpose of this space is to give voice. Perhaps you’ve never looked at life this way before, or perhaps you have been doing so for years. Either way, your thoughts and opinions matter. Reflecting on what you see, think and feel will only bring you closer to the truth. Never be afraid what you have to say will be scoffed at or ridiculed; the one who judges another’s honesty is small and petty. If you have something to say, do so proudly, but know you may stand alone. However, if you do find yourself on an island, proudly defend your ground, but do not attack, for convincing others what you believe doesn’t make it any truer. You decide what truth is for you, and no one else. So, speak your mind, and share with us what it means for you to be human.