Lisa Noël Babbage
Author, Teacher, Philanthropist
Aug. 19, 2018
“#NotATarget is the 2018 World Humanitarian Day theme”
If 130 million people around the world are in crisis, what is one person to do? That is the question do-gooders inevitably ask themselves as they write checks, repackage and deliver groceries, or promote the #sharehumanity. There is no doubt, people around the globe need a helping hand. But practicing humanity is not something we learn in school. By and large, kids aren’t learning it at home either.
So becoming humane is the intangible end result we as a race of people have to strive for. But what does it actually mean to become humane? It has to be more than a once-a-month commitment to someone else’s cause. It includes such things, but becoming humane has got to reach beyond the passive participation if we are to ever spread humanity to humanity.
When the United Nations deems a cause worthy, global focus is centered on the plight of those deserving individuals for that moment in time. Ten years ago, when a United Nations employee was murdered in a Baghdad hotel bombing, the U.N. General Assembly responded by creating awareness of the 65 million displaced people which make up roughly one-third of the global crisis through World Humanitarian Day. We assume that when we shed a tear or share sympathy with these humanitarian recipients, the cause won’t fall from memory. But once out of sight, it is frequently out of mind.
As organizations around the world recognize the need to formally organize humanitarian efforts on World Humanitarian Day (8/19/18) one can’t help but wonder what was going on the other 364 days of the year. Do we concern ourselves with the home-front crises that has been ongoing since colonization (actually before)? Do we bother to recognize our need to address the property and violent crimes that plague our urban cities by writing a similar check to start, for example, a neighborhood watch team? Do we have empathy for our fellow Americans that live in poverty?
We have to do more than add a hashtag to our social media platforms. We actually have to do more than write a check or CashApp our latest cause. Because many people in our own backyard need humanitarian relief in the form of encouragement, education, and opportunity. These huddled masses might not be the victims of drought, car bombings or other large scale conflicts, but they, like any other human, require humane treatment by their fellow man. Becoming humane is about a shifting mindset that is accompanied by a corresponding action. We think, then do.
Once we come to recognize the need to treat the people in own country humanely, then we can truly share humanity with those in crisis around the world. It all starts with a shift toward love.
Click here to find out more about World Humanitarian Day 2018