By Derrick Braziel
Founding Partner & Managing Director
It seems like every morning when I read the (online) newspaper, I’m confronted with another growing crisis. Our planet is in clear and imminent danger, there are violent conflicts springing up across the world, a James Bond-esque spy drama looms over our American political landscape, the LGBTQ, African-American and Latino communities are fighting for our most basic of rights, and so many more issues seem to continue to get worse.
If you’re anything like me, you sometimes feel overwhelmed with the weight of all of the problems and often wonder, what can one person do?
I remember when I was in college and I was in the middle of Bible study. We were reading (my favorite book of the Bible) Ecclesiastes and we stumbled upon a verse that has forever remained tattooed onto my psyche. The verse is in the ninth Chapter and fourth verse of Ecclesiastes and it says, “every living thing has a hope; even a live dog is better than a dead lion.”
This verse meant so much to me because it is one of God’s clearest messages to their followers – as long as a person has breath in their lungs, they have a purpose.
This is important because while all of the aforementioned problems are still happening and are still very real, the narrative that connects everyone is our humanity. If there is no planet, there are no humans; if we do not love one another, we will eventually destroy one another. Any way you attempt to slice the pie, humans are at the center of the story.
Often times, we consciously and unconsciously judge others because of their past decisions, their appearance, or any number of arbitrary things because we’re more concerned about our own comfort. As a result, we rob others of their humanity and their ability to see themselves intricately connected to our collective good. In my opinion, all humans want to feel connected to something bigger than themselves, and the more division and fighting amongst us, the less connected we feel to one another.
I believe that in order for us to have any shot at reversing climate change, war, partisan fighting, etc., we must start seeing the humanity in each other. We must see that every person, regardless of background, ideology, race, etc., has a hope, and we must feel a collective sense of responsibility to protect that humanity.
A friend of mine once posed the question, “what do you do when you know too much?” I must also ask you the same question; knowing our mandate to encourage, protect and unite with our fellow human, what are you going to do?