Sklover’s Monday Thought: Humanity Toward Others

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“Addressing a person by their name recognizes their humanity. Smiling to a stranger exercises your humanity. Sharing your caring is your humanity.”

– Alan L. Sklover

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It’s sure not easy to watch the “news” these days, it being so very full of instances and images of inhumanity, both at home and abroad. We all sure wish we could do something about it, to reverse it, or somehow “undo” it. The easiest thing is to just turn the “news” off, or just look the other way. We can do better than that.

Whether at work or elsewhere, each day we all can, if we wish, take small steps to encourage, inspire and plant seeds of humanity in our lives and the lives of others. It is in the words we use, the smiles we offer, the small gestures of kindness we give away, that cost nothing but that, taken together, are world-changing to ourselves and to others.

I’ve found my own small way to make nearly everyone I encounter daily smile, laugh, thank me, and at times even return the kindness. Whether it is talking to a Customer Service representative, a store cashier or a dear friend, at the end of the interaction, I ask “Would you do me a small favor?” The most common response is a rather suspicious, “Sure, what’s that?” My “ask” is simply “Please stay healthy,” accompanied by a “thumbs up.”

Then – 99% of the time – the response is almost always, “Oh, gosh, thank you SO much . . . how kind.” Or, a giant smile, and “You made my day!” A few times, there have even been tears . . . with a “I really needed that.”

More than once, the “humanity” I’ve shared this way has later come back to lift me, with a bold “Hello, I remember you . . . you’re that guy who asked me to stay healthy! . . . I have started to say that to other people now, too.” From all sorts of people, many of whom have become friends, even clients, I have received such appreciation.

There is no human being who is less than human, and all deserve to be treated with humanity. No matter what. No matter what “side” you are on, no matter what “tribe” you were born into. I learned this from my mother, herself a child refugee to this country who never completed high school.

Here comes the holiday season, for many of the world’s people. Starting this week, with our Thanksgiving holiday upon us, don’t forget for a moment that “Sharing your Caring . . .in any way you wish . . . is your Humanity.”

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The constant daily strife, here and abroad, motivated me to share this quote of my own making. No matter what may be your own particular “tribe” or “vibe,” may the days and weeks ahead of us yield greater humanity inside, outside and all around you.

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