Humanism is a philosophy founded upon the perspective that genuine goodness is a quality inherent to the human condition.
I sincerely believe that all people are born socially and spiritually neutral.
Hence, as I see it, all perspectives are learned and all traits are acquired.
Yet, I maintain that everyone has a basic nature of genuine goodness. The genuine goodness of all people is developed from within, hence it must be cultivated as a matter of daily renewal of mind to be true to the principles of goodness which are inherent within.
The challenges to the effort one employs to cultivate their humanity and to realize and activate their perspective of genuine goodness are many.
The daily grind of trying to survive in a world based upon commerce and trade is a distraction to one’s inner goodness. Everyone is trying to survive to the extent that oftentimes the goal of personal survival can hinder and distract one from allowing their genuine goodness to develop from within.
In all too many instances in our daily lives being good; which I sincerely believe is our basic nature, is pushed to the side in the light of our need to be constantly “productive” in our efforts to survive.
Daily conditioning to an assumed perspective can likewise prove to be a distraction from a person’s own inner goodness.
The person conditioned to a perspective of partyism for instance is expected to regard certain folks as “them” as opposed to being “one of us”.
Partyism can manifest itself in a number of ways, but mental conditioning to an assumed perspective is common to all instances of such.
Political perspectives can be a form of partyism.
Nationalism can be a form of partyism.
Religion can be a form of partyism.
Thus, as one is conditioned to certain social and spiritual beliefs, the temptation is ever present to adopt one set of standards as to how one relates to “our folk”, while an all together different set of standards might be exercised in relating to “the other folk”.
Hence, one might be kind and courteous towards, and be concerned and compassionate about “our folk”, yet might be rude towards and indifferent regarding the well being of “the other folk”.
Indeed, there is an ever present challenge to suppress our own genuine goodness when one is conditioned to a perspective of partyism.
Yet I maintain that ultimately and fundamentally genuine goodness is a condition inherent to the human condition.
I furthermore maintain that the genuine goodness of most every person spontaneously rises to the surface when circumstances are such that even daily duties and preferred perspectives are set to the side in the light of the urgency of the moment.
As a case in point, I recently witnessed and was party to the spontaneous goodness of humanity in an instance of urgent and undeniable need.
About a week and half ago my spouse and I were involved in a car accident in the middle of a workday in a town where we were complete strangers (Fortunately, there were no serious injuries). The impact was such that all within quite a distance heard the wreck. Within moments we were surrounded by people who had left their workplaces and restaurants, and who immediately were enquiring as to our conditon and helping pick up glass and direct traffic.
The fact that we were strangers and the other individual was a local resident made no difference to those kind folk who were rendering aid. The fact that my spouse is a foreigner made no difference (Albeit she is a Naturalized Citizen who has lived here more than 30 years, her German accent is ever so eloquently evident). Our “Ban Fracking” bumper sticker made no difference (Even though we were in a rural Texas town 2 days after the National Elections).
All that mattered at that moment of undeniable urgency was that we were sentient beings who were in need of assistance.
At that moment and in that instance, who we were, how we think, the values we maintain, and our standing in that or any other community were incidental to the needs of the moment.
And at that moment and in that instance, the natural humanity of those folk whose identities to me are even now a complete mystery rose to the surface.
Indeed, goodness is a quality natural to the human condition, and in moments of unexpected urgency most folk are spontaneously good.