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Discussion Starter #1
Hi :kitteh: Sorry I ran out of better thread ideas today :confused: So I thought this one up on the spot, hope it is okay..

Anyway I apologize if this is a vague thread..but I wanted to ask, what little/big things make you feel optimistic about humanity/mankind in general, in spite of the growing difficulties everywhere? How happy do you feel when you see people help each other?

Answer any way you wish..to relate, I wrote this poem a while ago, more for myself really;

Today I woke up,
Thinking about how,
What is 'humanity',
When we learn to give,
We learn to live,
It is not the confusion,
Of humanity is it?
Humanity,
Is it not shaped,
By helping one another?
How is humanity ever possible,
Without the art of giving,
Without the art of helping?
Even with the hopelessness,
The sparks of optimism,
Shaped by common grounds,
Defined by helping,
Indeed we learn to exist,
When we learn to give.
 

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I am neither optimistic, nor disproportionately pessimistic with regards to humanity. I feel as equally put off by the cruelty, short-sightedness, and intolerance of much of the species, as I am by its penchant for the smug, self-congratulatory glorification of its ‘humanity.’ Such thinking is understandable, but is ultimately nothing more than kitschy, human-centric conceit at its gaudiest; a manner of glossing over the facts, elevating humanity to a status above that of the rest of the planet, and masking the fact that we are nothing more interesting than a differently evolved species of animal and made of the same components. We are so imaginative that we have even written our superiority into our ‘holy’ books and our histories, solidifying our dominion over the earth (perhaps because we doubt it on some primordial level?).

There have always been difficulties. This particular moment in time is no more or less difficult than any other in human history. It seems that it is the unavoidable curse of each generation of humans to suppose that their particular era is in some manner worse than those which came before it. In youth I was as guilty of this as anyone.

My own subjective world view disallows human-centric thought, insomuch as I can consciously avoid it. Whatever else may be true, the only immediate threats posed to humanity, are those whose cause can ultimately be traced by to the human animal itself. I am hopeful (perhaps foolishly so) that we can learn to overcome the smug conceit of our ‘humanity’ and stop focusing solely on isolated, active acts of kindness (generally quite limited and species-specific, or perhaps extended to our ‘pets’) and instead learn to embrace a more all-inclusive sort of compassion, one extended to all species; a passive, graceful, paradigm shift. If, for example, we can learn to curb our growth, to downsize, and live with the planet instead of subjugating and polluting it. To share. To become leavers instead of takers, as Daniel Quinn so eloquently put forward.

For me, there is little hope for true optimism, until, and unless, we abandon humanistic thinking, or at least broaden its scope into a sort of everythingist mode of thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
By the way this is just general clarification for the thread (sorry forgot to add)

The purpose of this thread is not for me to advocate what is the 'right' or 'wrong' view about humanity (I'm just explaining my intention).. It is just to ask about other people's views on it, while that I only shared too few random tidbits.

Okay carry on :)
 

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What makes me feel optimistic about humanity? Hmm... good question! I am not sure whether or not I feel optimistic about humanity as a whole, but I am optimistic about many of the individuals that make up what humanity is as a whole. I try to give people the benefit of doubt, and try to see the good and beauty within them. Usually, I end up finding something beautiful about them that most may have missed. I do not doubt that there is an ugly side to humanity on a whole, however, you can't help but notice the little beautiful pockets of individuals that make up humanity. And with those that are in the grey area, you can easily help them grow towards a better future and better self.
 
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