The Buzz by Mike Schaffer - PR, Social Media, Pop Culture and Sports


October 6, 2009

A Plea For Real Humanity

Tags: david letterman, humanity, jon gosselin, nelson mandela

This past weekend, my wife and I were discussing people who let us down as a society. I mean, look around at the recent examples.  David Letterman cheats on his long-time girlfriend (now wife) with staff members; Jon Gosselin transforms himself into a caricature of a bad father; and don’t even get me started on “family-values” politicians who chase some “strange” on the side.

Whenever a public figure does something boneheaded, like drive drunk, cheat on their spouse or other shady deeds, their first defense always seems to be “I’m human.”

Marisa and I agree that we should expect MORE from humanity.  Scandalous behavior and salacious sex isn’t “human,” it’s embarrassing.

When I think of “humanity,” I think of the best of our species.  Recent examples include Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela.  Wasn’t it their sheer humanity that drove them to their incredible actions?

When I think of “humanity,” I think of Boy Scouts helping an old lady cross the street; I think of a firefighter risking their life to save a child from a burning building.

When I think of “humanity,” I think of people who dedicate their lives to worthwhile endeavors, working towards a prosperous future.

When I think of “humanity,” I think of love, compassion, intelligence, motivation, determination, acceptance.  Forgiveness is part of it, too, but “screwing up” really doesn’t fit the definition.

So why is it then that people use “humanity” as a crutch to support their poor decisions and bad choices?  And why do we let them get away with it?  Is it because we want to have that excuse available to us when we falter?

Maybe it’s time for us to take a stand for REAL humanity.

Maybe it’s time for us to hold ourselves and each other accountable for actions we take and actions we see.

Maybe it’s time for us to hold up shining examples of humanity, locally and globally.   Let’s celebrate the brilliance of the recent Nobel Prize winners.  Let’s promote the great work of charitable initiatives like @DannyBrown’s 12 For 12k Challenge.  Let’s commend the head of the Washington, DC Taxicab Commission for working with investigators for two years to exterminate corruption in his system, citing the fact that his mother raised him not to accept bribes.

Humanity is an incredible thing.  Right now, it just needs new publicists and that’s a job we ALL must share.  Who’s with me?

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