Humanifesto - A Navigational Tool for the Journey
We don't live in times where people are encouraged to have and/or issue a manifesto. When I think of the word it usually brings back thoughts of US History class in school rather than daily life in the 21st century.
Here is the Wikipedia definition:
A manifesto is a written public declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government.A manifesto usually accepts a previously published opinion or public consensus and/or promotes a new idea with prescriptive notions for carrying out changes the author believes should be made. It is often political or artistic in nature, but may also present an individual's life stance.
It's the last part of the definition which really interests me - 'may also present an individual's life stance'. Therein lies the point I'm getting at - what if each of us had to issue our own personal manifesto? Do you have any idea what yours would be? Take a moment and really let the thought sink in.
What is your life stance? What are your well examined 'on this rock I stand' beliefs? How does your moral compass find 'true north'? True north differs from magnetic north because it is unchanging, without the variables of magnetic north. Hence the metaphor. Too often on life's journey we're uncertain where we're going and what the right path is for us personally. Finding our true north enables us to discover our own right, well lit path.
In order to find our 'true north', in order to formulate our personal manifesto, we must turn the magnifying glass upon ourselves, our beliefs, our passions; we must know ourselves well enough to find the manifesto written inside us...and then have the courage to stand unwavering upon that rock.
I don't know exactly what my manifesto is, but I'm working on it. I'm turning 50 this year and plan to have my manifesto written in time for my birthday in July. It seems with fifty years under my travlin' belt it's a good time to make this stand, to issue my manifesto as a declaration for my next fifty years.
While working on my own manifesto I came across The SuperForest Humanifesto - it is a good one worth reading and sharing. I've printed copies for my children to keep in their 'special box'. The 'special box' is the place I put all the important thoughts, musings, ideas, quotes and inspirations I want to share with them but which they are still too young to appreciate. When they are older they will have this box full of wisdom from their mama; this cache of navigational tools and candles and compasses to help them on their journey and to help them as they formulate their own manifesto.
Perhaps the Humanifesto will inspire you to begin the work of finding your own manifesto.
Be courageous this year and remember these wise words from my friend, Erik Weihenmayer:
"What's within you is stronger than what's in your way."
Happy New Year one and all!
The SuperForest Humanifesto
What is going to save the human race?
Three words that will totally change this planet.
More than solar power. More than recycling. More than wind energy.
Because if we all started treating the people and things that we interact with every day with respect and compassion, the effects would ripple through every aspect of our lives, transforming society.
Our parents taught us the manners “rule-sets” that we use every day, and as a result, we feel that we have (through years of introspection) begun walking the path towards enlightenment. Our manners dictate the way we treat the external world, the Environment. We feel that it is primarily our manners that dictate our success as humans.
Folks talk about wanting to save the “Environment”, and that conjures up images of bubbling brooks and unspoiled forests. But “the Environment” isn’t just greenery and pretty scenery. It’s our slums, our airports, our houses, our supermarkets.
The Environment is everything that disappears when you close your eyes.
If you want to improve it, you must begin with what you see and encounter every single day of your life.
Before we can set about elevating our present society from a carbon-based one to a solar-electric one, knowing full well that solar-electric decentralized power means a higher quality of life for all, we must first pause and ask ourselves: Why? What is worth saving?
Our gift and curse as humans is our incredible consciousness. We are aware, and that is the greatest and worst thing we’ve got going for us. Because we can clearly see how well we could be living, how politely we could be treating one another, how incredible life could be; we feel it is our duty to delight and inform our fellow humans in the hopes of creating a better world.
There is no reason every human on Earth could not have access to:
Nutritious Un-modified Food
Open Source Communication
Freedom from Oppression and Fascism
But, as is painfully obvious, most humans don’t have those things.
Most humans don’t have two of the six!
They could, but they don’t.
Nearly every religion this planet has yet produced has as one of its tenets the idea that to be happy, you must treat others as you yourself would hope to be treated.
A failure in this respect is simply bad form.
When a company decides to dump its waste into a river that others downstream use for drinking water, that is bad manners.
When a society chooses to isolate its citizenry in prisons and not offer any chance at rehabilitation, that is bad manners.
When a person decides to walk into a school and open fire on their classmates, that is extremely bad manners.
That is why we MUST START NOW.
All new generations must be schooled in the art of good manners if we are to survive, let alone flourish, as a species.
Try your hardest to treat others as you hope they would treat you, and actively look for ways to help the people around you. Do this from a pure place within you and watch the effects ripple outward!
Because so few are doing it.
Good manners make you stand out like a struck match in a dark room.
Make eye contact with anyone you interact with. Smiling is optional but highly encouraged.
Use the words “Please” and “Thank You” as often as you can.
Seek out ways to improve the lives of others. This can be as small as carrying someones bag up a flight of stairs, or holding a door open.
Do these three things and your life will change immeasurably. And you will begin to change the lives of those who come into contact with you in a measurable and positive way.
We are filled with optimism and hope.
Thank you for reading this.