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Spreading Humanity by Leo Chanakya Ranasinghe

Humans are said to be the most intelligent creatures on the planet earth. Having said that have you ever thought of what makes humans so special? Is it because of the amazing discoveries, economic development, marvelous buildings humans create or because of the knowledge that humans possess?? Humans have indeed excelled in those areas. They created wonders of the world by their own hands. They developed new technology to reach the space and deep down the ocean to find the unknown. But don’t forget, the same great humans built concentration camps to kill people, so-called scientists develop gases and vaccines to kill thousands of people in one second, developed bombs to destroy cities into clouds of dust and created wars to kill thousands of innocent lives including children who know nothing about why they are being treated like that.

So where did humans go wrong?

If humans are said to be the most intelligent creatures on this planet, why are they killing each other far more worse than animals? Animals, on one hand, do kill for their survival. But humans throughout the time have killed each other because of the 2 most deadly things in the world, GREED, and POWER. When we look back into history people have been divided by their race, color, religion, countries, borders and have slaughtered each other to show their superiority over another group because of greediness to acquire the power. But it is the HUMANITY which comes to the rescue, which comes in between these forces and tries to minimize the damage caused by them to the world. Humanity is the main characteristic that makes humans special from the rest of the species living in the world.

One of the important things we should keep in mind is that no person can be categorized as pure evil or pure good. According to the ancient Chinese symbol of “Yin and Yang” the two black and white sides of this symbol depicts good and the bad. The black dot on the white side shows that every good thing has a little bit of bad in it and the white dot on the black side shows that even though things look bad they might have some good in it and balancing such two sides is the life. The most kind-hearted person might have some kind of bad characteristics in his life and most evil person might have some goodness within himself. It is the humanity which minimizes the bad in the good and as well nurtures the good in the bad so we will always have hope among all the chaos going in the world.

A story of “Aṅgulimāla” during the time of Gautama Buddha proves this point and shows how kindness and humanity can heal people from their worst behaviors. The main character in this story is named Ahimsaka, a Brahmin student who was the best student of his master at that time. But his friends turned his master against him and the master gave him the task of collecting a thousand fingers from men and women. Ahimsaka a well-educated Brahmin turned into Angulimala and killed nine hundred and Ninety-Nine people and collected the fingers. When Angulimala sees Gautama Buddha he raged towards Buddha to take the last finger he needed to complete his master’s wish. But the kindness and compassion shown by Gautama Buddha made him stop and later he became a monk under Buddha and attained Nirvana. Many monks asked Gautama Buddha on how a person who killed such amount of people can attain Nirvana and Buddha replied that it is possible. According to this story, it is humanity that came to the rescue of Angulimala and proved that it needs only one person, one word to turn a good person into a serial killer or to turn a serial killer into a saint.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic also taught a valuable lesson to this world. People have always been busy with their lives running a race that never ends. But this pandemic created a halt to our busy lifestyles and created a world where people are there for each other. People saw the value of what they have and realized that no riches could equal the value of health and value of life while Doctors, Nurses, Soldiers, rulers, even the janitors in the hospitals fought against the deadliest battle the world has ever seen to save thousands of lives. They left their homes, their loved ones to save the people whom they haven’t even met. Thousands of healthcare workers sacrificed their lives to save others in need. As Gautama Buddha said the greatest sacrifice that one could give is to sacrifice your own life for the life of others and these lost souls taught an important lesson of humanity to the world to care for others even though you know that you have to leave all that you have today to create a better world for others.

We do not need to be a Mother Theresa to heal others, A Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela stand up for others. All that we need it to practice Compassion and Loving Kindness to everyone irrespective of their differences. We all have the medicine of humanity with us. But it’s a matter of choice whether we want to give it to another person to heal him/her and that simple act can create ripples which resonate with the name of humanity. Let’s spread the humanity and let’s be the humanity that the world needs right now.

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