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What and who inspired me to love all humanity without exception?

“My humanity is bound up with yours, for we can only be human together.”
Desmond Tutu

“Be kind to all creatures.”

How did I become someone who tries to be kind to all people without exception? This includes not just the nearest and the dearest, like family members and close friends or peers, but the neediest and total even strangers. Who inspired me to treat every person with equal respect and kindness? Was it mostly my parents? My teachers? My spiritual guides or sense of a Higher Power? My friends? This doesn’t mean that the nearest and dearest should be less loved, but it does mean that we should all be leaning outwards whenever possible to help even those we do not know. We can avoid all the unkind attitudes and words that dehumanize others just because they are not part of our little group. It is good to have circles of trust and friendship, but these circles should strengthen our resolve be kind to every single person we encounter.

We need true friends who encourage us to be helpful to everyone. We need role-models who pass the torch of love for all humanity and lead by example. We need to fill our minds with the stories of people who inspire goodness and compassion for everyone, usually one person at a time. Who inspires you? What inspires you? The superficial differences that we think make “us” better than “them” mean nothing because we are all equally part of a shared humanity, all equally on a journey of formation and growth. Are you serving as a good role model for your peers?

Fact:  We learn love for humanity from our role-models and mentors who pass the torch from one generation to the next, and allow us to observe the details of their words and interactions.

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This is a project of The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love.