An announcement of the Humanist Party, Belgium, tells of its priorities and the tasks that lie ahead in these troubled times and as stated, activists must know how to prioritize and not get caught up in secondary issues. The text marks a new attempt from the members to position the organisation in the present at a time when there is much social unrest.
The statement makes a heady challenge which recalls a statement by the founder of Universalist Humanism, Silo, to the people in general but in reality to his associated humanists to whom he was speaking – “… shall we just go fishing, or bring ‘something more’ into this social moment.”
The Belgian HP announcement is a further attempt to place what is going on in the political sphere in a perspective where the sacredness of human beings is declared and the need for us to take another direction than simple revenge is mooted. Following an informative if poetical prologue, there is the list.
In the Humanist Party, we propose in response to the situation today:
1. Strengthen our abhorrence of all forms of violence (stop enchaining revenge, but rather reconcile and repair errors).
2. Recognize the sacredness of the human being. Sacred, not as being superior or dominant, but as being a carrier of meaning in the world, responsible, humble and respectful of all life and the universe around us.
It is from this stance that we must address the situation. The young generation of today soon will command mankind’s ship, and they were born with the co-presence of all cultures, and are in these issues daily.
It is not, then, a project for the next legislature, or for the race of some political person or against the enrichment of a few bankers. This is a challenge in regards to human evolution over time. With these priorities in mind and with this hope in the heart, specifically to do or decide about what to do in the short term, things will then be clearer. We really need this long-term perspective.
Should we buy aircraft to launch nuclear weapons?
Should we find solutions to climate change?
We need an economy at the service of human beings?
Do we need a fair distribution of wealth and opportunities?
We need a real democracy?
Do we need a basic income?
Should we eliminate the indexation of wages or tax corporate profits?
Should we delay the retirement age, eliminating unemployment or job sharing?
Should we negotiate and sign the transatlantic treaty?
Is it possible with the current government?
Is it possible in a society based on competition and fear of the other?
Albert Einstein, a little ‘extraterrestrial observer”, wrote:
“A human being is part of a whole called “Universe”, a part limited in time and space. He takes the experience of himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest. It is a kind of optical illusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting and imprisoning us to the limits of our personal desires and to an affection for a few bystanders. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and nature in its beauty.”
Humans have not completed their evolution and this evolution will require love and compassion. Then, roll up the sleeves and wake up – we are not the ones to go fishing.