I am human.

I am not black – I am a human (who happens to have dark skin).

I am not gay – I love another human (who happens to have the same sex as I do).

I am not “trans” – I am a human (who happens to make some changes).

I am not a woman – I am a human (who happens to have breasts).

I am not a Muslim – I am a human with beliefs (which happen to be different from those of others).

I am not disabled – I am a human (who happens to not being able to walk).

We are all humans – no matter what circumstances we happen to live in or which we’re born into. Our circumstances differ in countless ways. But don’t we all breath the same air, live on the same planet, need to eat and drink to live, digest, bleed if we’re hurt, feel pain, get sad and laugh? The one thing which definitely connects us all is being human. Hating and hurting another because of skin color, sexuality, gender, ethnical background, religious beliefs etc. is to hate humans! Hating humans means to hate yourself! Stop projecting your own hatred and fear on to others! Stop hurting others because you’ve got issues with yourself and your own circumstances, your own life. Not only is this intolerable – it is unacceptable!

So, start dealing with your own being human and be gentle to yourself and to others! And if this isn’t something you can fully comprehend, just think about the term “human rights” – these are rights any human being possesses just because of being human and not because of having a certain skin color or nationality or whatever crap we make up to distinguish between inferior and superior or any other similar bias to cover up our own insecurities. And for all avowed egoists: If you’re not willing to care about the human rights of others, think about that: Violating human rights means to violate your own rights in the same instant. So be careful how you treat these rights, because with every violation which remains unpunished, ignored or accepted these rights lose worth and strength, and humans lose humanity.

For the record, I am a heterosexual white girl living in a European country. I have no experiences of being a victim of racism, homophobia or religious prosecution, so I have no expertise on that matter whatsoever, but I feel that if I would remain silent or withdraw due to the feeling of not being worthy or qualified to share my thoughts I would miss the chance of contributing anything beneficent at all. If I can inspire only one person to reflect on what I just said to maybe act more consciously or even change his/her/its mind or only a single person to feel seen or heard, I think it’s save to say: “It was worth it!”

From COVID-19 to fighting racism?!

Simply, it’s sad and frustrating that we seem to be able to overcome COVID-19, and then, out of sheer stupidity of a man who should actually save lives, are forced to take to the streets to fight racism. If this is not a sign that we should do better in reflecting on our human behavior, then what is?

COVID-19, spreading humanity?

In the past few days some thoughts came to my mind that I would like to elaborate on.

The first thought, it’s more of a question though, appeared as I left the drug store after my first visit since the corona virus outbreak had reached Austria: Why is it so hard to be friendly while keeping spacial distance? I know, we have to wear face masks and keep a certain distance and that these times are not easy, but does that mean we cannot greet each other? “A smile goes a long way” it says and, yeah, while wearing masks we don’t see each other’s mouths, but we can smile with our eyes or our voice or our words or even our body language.

There’s kind of a paradox going on it seems. While on the one hand people get out on their balconies to sing and cheer together, excited to show solidarity, on the other hand they just stare and don’t have a single “hello” to spare or buy so much toilet paper that the others can’t get any. I’m puzzled. For Austrians keeping distance emotionally seems to be a lot easier than keeping distance spatially, not only during corona though.

Second, it is often stated these days that people show more solidarity and humanity in this time of crisis. And I begin to wonder: What is humanity? What distinguishes ‘to act humanly’? What makes a certain behavior being considered inhumane? I always liked to think of behaving humanly as being respectful, giving, compassionate and understanding, which is surely true. But while reflecting on the meaning of it I came to think that there are characteristics which as well are part of humanity, like fear and suspicion that are not considered as praiseworthy. Of course, these could in a way be connected to our survival instinct.

So what shows up in this time of crisis? What is it we truly choose when we choose to show more humanity? Is it the compassionate and helping facet? Or is it the distrusting one? Or is it both, but intensified? I think for the most part we are able to decide which part gets stronger and which part we want to give to this world – not only in times of crisis. I would like to raise two subsequent questions to reflect on: Is there another disease spreading besides corona that is much more powerful and much more to be feared? And is this why we now have to face the corona virus pandemic to make meaningful decisions as humans?