Mercer's Poems
Putting the ‘Human’ Back into ‘Humanity’

If you read my blogs - and I hope you do, if not get busy - Then you’ll know I have a penchant for diatribes of righteous indignation against various aspects of modern life and how we, as a people, go about them. You may think this makes me a bitter and twisted old crone; a hermit-like shut-away who despises everything. This could not be further from the truth, and, in this blog, I hope to explain why. 

You see, I love. No agenda to that word’s application. No subject of desire. No selfish element. No coveting anything. Simple and short premise. I love. I have so much passion and joy for the world and for humanity, for everything, and when I see it being manipulated or spoiled by something I cannot help but complain about it. In much the same way as the first thing a father might do if his child comes home after being missing for a while is get a bit angry before clutching desperately and lovingly at their child, I too get mad before I show love.  

Take for example my previous blog about mobile telephones. My main problem with them is that they have, in quite a big way, removed the element of humanity in communication; and also to cheapen it in some way. I know they can be used to communicate with people in far off places who you otherwise may not see often but, does that not too cheapen the moment when you do, on rare occasion, see that person? Everyone is so connected now via medium of wireless technology and fibre-optic broadband that we forget we connect on a level much deeper than wire buried beneath the Earth. We are connected as human beings. And I feel something of the magic of that is lost when, instead of popping around to someone’s home on an evening and, sharing a cup of tea and a meal, you can just ‘give them a ring’ and have a quick natter. Ignoring that, I don’t know, age old magic of face to face communication. There is no humanity in a phone call, there is no soul or essence to it. It is hollow communication for communication’s sake and it’s amazing that we can think the old cliche of ‘the world is getting smaller’ and yet, we spend more and more of our time locked up indoors relying on internet and telephones to communicate.

My rants against celebrities too stem from my love of humanity. It’s not that I don’t appreciate what they do (unless, like Paris Hilton, they literally do nothing, in which case I shall pray every day to a vengeful God that she is struck by lightening) I like music, I like movies, I like some TV shows. But in the application by ‘fans’ and media of a deification like status it is not only neglecting the fact that these individuals are only human, but also taking away attention from people who are only too aware they’re only human because they are suffering. Instead of giving time, effort and column inches to the truly amazing stories and inspiring individuals we’re giving our attention to people who, actually, haven’t done much at all. And that is truly tragic. I love nothing more than settling down with people to hear the stories of their life. The highs, the lows, the ups, the downs, and all the crazy loop-the-loops that this fantastic ride of life gives us. I don’t care what a celebrity wore to a fancy party, I want to find out what Old Lady Doris was wearing the day she met her husband who she’s been married to for 65 years. Because that’s life. That’s humanity. That is what we should be celebrating. We shouldn’t vacuously deify someone just because they pretended to be someone else for a 90-minute movie. We should recognise every single soul on this Earth as a deity in their own special way and remember that with each life comes thousands and thousands of events, anecdotes and stories more magical, more magnificent, more action packed and more human than anything you see on the silver screen.  

The problem is we like to call what we’re living in a ‘society’ but, it’s not very social at all and with all the contrived fears; these manufactured disputes and divisions of race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, political ideology - They’re all making us cliquey and factional. But ultimately the biggest ideology in, at least my country and other countries proclaiming to be ‘free’ is individualism. And that’s also the most dangerous. Instead of doing for our fellow human being we are told to do for ourselves first. This has led to us isolating ourselves, or trying to pigeon-hole ourselves as being one thing or another. Is it any wonder why teenage years are an anguish for young people these days when they’re having a crisis of identity that tells them they have to be something when, at that age, they’re idealistic enough to just consider themselves human; and nothing else. But instead they get an agenda shoved down their throats that tells them they have to ‘be something’ whether that be personal identity wise through mass marketing, career wise through pressure to do well at school, or ideologically wise as they are bombarded with agenda-laden messages that call themselves ‘news’. 

The system and culture we’re living in is toxic. It claims to be humanity, but it’s a virus that has taken over the host cell of humanity, and removed the ‘human’. I say we put the ‘human’ back into ‘humanity’. Stop the agenda, stop the factionalisation, stop the conflict, stop the pursuit of happiness through wealth, stop it all, even if only for an hour. And in that time, shake hands with a stranger. Talk to them. See their discomfort when you first introduce yourself and how it matches yours. See the nervous smile or coy giggle as you find out you have things in common. Or the passion and indignation if you have different views. See how similar they are to you? The only thing unique about humanity is we have the frontal lobe power to realise there’s nothing unique about us at all. We are all one, and it’s time we stopped pursuing our own agendas and started focussing on everyone’s. Because in the end, we all want the same things.

Peace and Love.