X marks the spot


23 February, 2018

How human are you? Updated Version 2.0

This is a great topic for critical thought and for those capable, higher order analysis. In other words, a thought provoking chat with a friend.

Please allow me to get you started. Re-call an incident where a stranger inconvenienced you. Or perhaps a colleague, a neighbour or maybe even a loved one. What was your initial response?

Imagine or recall one hundred incidents. Is your initial response full of warmth, care and love? Or are you, mostly, disappointed or aggravated?

You ought to be able to see where I am going with this. Someone who is 'very' human will feel warmth, care and love (for others) far more often than someone who is annoyed by others who inconvenience them.

I suspect many of us believe ourselves to be human beings but we never give any real thought as to how human we are or ought to be.

Let me give you an example. Yesterday, at work, I was unable to find a suitable box to send another colleague some goods. To make things really difficult, there wasn't any suitable packaging materials either. I did the best I could and the goods were received in excellent condition. Now, what I failed to do was to contact my colleague and explain what I had done and why. My colleague was unhappy at the state of the parcel he received today and complained to his boss. She sent me a light-hearted email requesting an explanation. The first mistake was mine but then my colleague and his boss both responded with a lack of humanity. Three failures. Three chances wasted to exercise our collective humanity.

This basic lack of humanity is standard behaviour for most. Unremarkable and perhaps you might think that I am being overly sensitive. Perhaps I am. You may tell me that this is the real-world and I need to get with the program. However, imagine a slightly different world. I would have explained what I had done to my colleague BEFORE he received the parcel. If I hadn't have done that, he should have contacted me, expressing concern that I hadn't got access to a range of boxes and suitable packaging material and was there anything he could do to help. Failing that, when he complained to his boss she should have asked me or my boss if I was running low on supplies. No-one should have assumed I was behaving inappropriately. Everyone should have assumed that I had done my best with the resources at my disposal. That is how humanity works and how our society simply fails.

I must say that I work for a very good company, staffed by great people. I must say that because it is true. However, the initial reactions of me, a colleague and a boss were nowhere near as human as they might have been. Again, you may feel that I am a delicate snowflake who cannot handle the real-world. No, I suggest to you that the real-world does not encourage or support humanity.

Over the coming weeks, monitor yourself, is your initial reaction to being inconvenienced a negative emotion or a positive one?

Imagine being behind a frail old lady in a queue. She is taking an age to do anything. A true human being would not feel irritated, annoyed or impatient. A true human being would offer help or simply smile or perhaps just take a moment to appreciate life.

No, our society simply does not support our own humanity. The very thing that we call the real-world is simply not real or even believable. Yet here we are living it. Completely oblivious to the lack humanity in what humans simply call the real-world.

Regardless, once you realise that you could be far more human; simply aim to be far more human. Therefore, as the parcel incident occurred today, on Monday I will send an email to my boss, my colleague and his boss and apologise for not letting them know why I was sending goods in too big of a box with non-standard packaging.

In behaving far more human, others will naturally reflect this humanity straight back at you. Therefore you can change and impact upon the world yourself. There is no need to expect others to change first and behave with more humanity towards you. You simply increase the level of humanity in others by interacting with them in a far more human fashion.

If just 2% of us deliberately started behaving more humanely with everyone, then 20% would automatically mimic us and start behaving with far greater humanity. A positive feedback cycle is then initiated, changing the world far quicker than anyone could possibly believe.

Please give the ideas outlined above some careful thought and consideration. If you live in an area where deliberate (or natural) humane behaviour is likely to be met with violence, then move elsewhere or continue to suffer the consequences.

This is far easier than you imagine. Simply take note of any negative emotions you feel when inconvenienced. Allow yourself to feel these negative emotions. Do not judge yourself harshly for having a negative emotion. Simply accept that you are reacting to an inconvenience with a negative emotion. It is natural and should not be suppressed. It is natural and unsurprising. It is both natural and unnecessary. However, the choice remains with you on how to interact with whoever inconvenienced you. I suggest you choose to deliberately interact with them with humanity / love. The negative emotion is not of any significance. What is important are your words and actions towards the person or perhaps object that you negatively emotionally reacted too.

I use the word 'negative' to describe the type of emotion you may experience when inconvenienced. It is just an emotion. It may be pleasant or unpleasant. It is just an emotion. There is no real need to judge the emotion or yourself. Simply accept whatever emotion you are experiencing. Perhaps treat the emotion as a guest. You need only remember two things, the emotion will leave you.  The choice on how you act towards whatever inconvenienced you is yours, regardless of whatever emotion you felt.

This is not a competition. You are not being scored or judged. My aim is to encourage you to become who you were born to be. Nothing more and certainly nothing less.


Extra bit

The main point here, is that when you are treated with humanity / love it is very easy to respond in a similar fashion. Spectacularly easy. Which is the point. You can massively impact upon those around you, friends and strangers alike, increasing the general levels of humanity dramatically.

It is also easy to respond in kind to aggression, anger, irritability, frustration and so on. What makes this so easy are the 'negative' emotions we may feel in these situations. In these situations it is important to remember two things. The negative emotions someone is experiencing are theirs and theirs alone. Perhaps you have inconvenienced them. Perhaps someone else has. Regardless, their negative emotions are internally generated by them and not you. Simply accept that they are not behaving in a human / loving manner and are currently swamped with negative emotions. In essence, they are not thinking clearly as they have temporarily lost a firm grip of their humanity.

Remember that, even if you have a spike of negative emotions, you can still choose to behave with humanity / love.

Recently, I made what I thought was a witty remark and had the 'victim' become very annoyed with me. He was loud and made a lengthy statement. I had no emotional response. I simply made a mental note that I had 'touched a nerve'. I simply listened patiently and after his rant ended, I simply nodded and carried on with what I had been doing. I knew his response was emotionally triggered and after a short while he would be back to his normal humane self. Which he was.

Days later, a colleague commented that he was pleased that I had not replied in kind. He had been uncomfortable that an aggressive argument was brewing. He had imagined that an escalation to violence was possible. My reply surprised him. I said that I was not caught up in the moment and had simply made a choice. I could have chosen to enrage him further with another biting comment, then another and another. I didn't. I chose to allow him the time and space to allow his own emotions to dissipate.

This is an aspect of the power I mention in other posts and my three concise books. Despite my colleagues rant, I remained in full control of my faculties. I didn't feel anything. I didn't feel scared, embarrassed or anything. I had simply mis-judged a comment or perhaps I simply made it at the wrong moment. Regardless, his emotional response was created internally and his inability not to act upon it was his responsibility too.

When we experience a rush of emotion, we can simply lose control over how we wish to present ourselves. We give away our power as we lose our self control. Or, we can choose to regain our awareness. Allow the rush of powerful emotions to simply wash over us. To simply experience the emotions. Just allow them to be. There is no need to judge the emotions as positive or negative. No need to judge ourselves for having them at all. Simply be aware of them. Allowing our awareness to settle in our body. To notice which parts of our body the emotional response is being felt. Perhaps the chest, the stomach or elsewhere. When it feels right for you, allow your awareness to take in your surroundings. When you are ready, decide upon a response or perhaps no response.

I mention power. You may think that whoever loses control and shouts the loudest is the most powerful. This will be a very difficult belief to overcome. Decades ago there was a brutal African dictator. Very loud. Very angry. Very aggressive. He controlled the army. He controlled the government. The oil wealth of the country he ruled allowed him to control a great many things. He was powerful and brutal. His opponents were executed. Now, as powerful as this man appears to you; I am more powerful. He is ruled by his emotions. I simply try to remain aware of mine.

A human being, a being of great humanity / love decided that this brutal reign must end. The life of the brutal general / war lord / president had to end. Sooner rather than later. This was a decision that provoked a great many emotions. These simply had to be accepted. Fear of failure would almost certainly guarantee failure. A plot of any kind would need plotters. A fearful plotter would be noticed by the presidents elite guard. Torture would induce greater fear and the plot would be thwarted. What was needed were truly powerful beings. Not loud and angry beings. Human beings, mindful of self, aware of others and sensitive to the demands of their society. Step forward a beautiful and serenely calm lady. Mindful of her own sensuality and sexuality. Aware of her impact upon men and also how society judged her. Rather harshly, you may refer to her as a prostitute. Regardless of how you view her or the rather brutal dictator, or how much you believe my words, how much you believe or disbelieve me. Know this, she and she alone fed the dictator a poisoned apple.

So, he wasn't very powerful was he? A plot taken from a childrens fairy tale. Carried out by a small young, woman dressed not in amour but lingerie. His emotions clearly in control rendering him incapable of remembering that he never eats anything not prepared by his own personal chefs overseen by men with guns.

How powerful was she? Just how could she do what she did without being paralysed with fear?

He was not powerful. He was loud and aggressive.

She was very powerful. Calmly and serenely feeding a poisoned apple to one of the worlds more brutal dictators.

I hope your idea of power has changed. However, beliefs are not easily changed. To maintain your belief structure you will probably argue that she did not know what she was doing. That another man, a coward, poisoned the apple and somehow gave it the prostitute. Yes, well, whatever.

You can believe that the dictator was powerful.

Or you can believe that the prostitute was powerful.

Perhaps, you will believe as I do. The dictator should have been dispatched sooner. Far sooner. Why did his elite guard allow this brutal man to continue? Well, quite simply because they weren't powerful either. They carried weapons in his presence and killed in his name. You may think that this makes them powerful but it does not. The lithe young lady was powerful and you can equal her power, it is likely that you will never need to act as she did but potentially you could.

At this point I wish to point out that although I used the word 'prostitute', I used it to help the narrative. She was in fact a very human being. How human are you?


Today, Monday, I sent out a genuine heartfelt apology to three people. Two responded with actual help. I was very happy to work with such pleasant people.

The third did not respond. This was probably due to the unpleasant nature of the email I sent them  on Friday. Or rather the email I allowed my inner monkey to send.

Well, there you go. I did not plan this but it is obvious that treating people with humanity is in your own best interest. Two people really did surprise me with their generosity and help. I really should not have been surprised. Yet, I was.

My inner monkey will not be allowed to write emails or respond in any way for a very long time.

I choose to call this episode a learning experience rather than a mistake. A moment of clarity.

Definitely something to remember next time my inner monkey feels the need to communicate with others. My inner monkey is far too brutal and only provokes the inner monkey of others. A game my monkey enjoys but I will allow it no longer. Unless.....There is always an unless.

You take care, remembering that you are not responsible for others emotional state or under any obligation to allow your inner monkey to communicate with anothers inner monkey. Simply respond with humanity / love and help create a better world for everyone but especially for yourself.

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