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The loss of humanity, between one another is a process of deterioration, like in Alzheimer disease, the patient never recovers, he never gets better and the disease never stops. Our disease is alienation, the slow disintegration and degeneration of humanity towards the other.
We know about personal diseases, which leads to death, but we don’t know of disease which strikes whole populations, a disease that one of it’s symptoms is a dementia of the attitude towards the other. Alienation is a slow, crawling death, like the freezing of a person, first it is the external organs; the nose, the ears, the fingers tips, and then it crawls in, until it reaches the heart and lungs.
And so in alienation, just that here it is not felt, because the thing about losing humanity is that it is based on the loosing of sensitivity and awareness towards the other, which means that it happens in us without us being aware of it.
In the process of losing humanity – we feel less and less, become blinder to the small signs of stress and suffering in the other, it bothers us less and less. And it is comfortable this way, for sensitivity agitates us; very small thing causing our nerves to jump. In losing sensitivity to the other, we see the signs of pain or humiliation, and it is so easy to move on and pass by, no alarm is being triggered inside.
And what assists this ‘moving on’ is the cooperation of others; all are moving on and away. No one will tell us off about this ignoring of the stress of another.
We don’t see the lack of humanity everywhere, for it is done quietly, a cultured, even polite disregard. We turn off the humanity in us, light after light, and in the dark you cannot see the distress of the other.
With-it, we are not bad; we feel pain when a mother is losing her child in birth, when seeing a baby alone at the street at night – we rush to help or call the police, and when seeing an accident we might even stop to help. We visit our demented parents once a week. But all this is technical, doesn’t involve our caring, it shocks us as citizens but not as human beings (with sensitivity to another).
There are many that volunteer in organizations for one parent families, for battered women, for the poor who does not have a hot meal a day.
By maybe it is no more than a fig leaf; for how would we react to a person at work that suddenly will tell us that his wife left him and he is broken, would human warmth burst out of us? Or we would stutterer, wouldn’t know what to say, or we will suggest to enroll to a dating agency in the internet…
Maybe people wanted to get free from their humanity because it is being perceived as a heavy load.
One way or another, having to have humanity does not make our life easy.
With it, we are sensitive to our personal distress; our hierarchy with others, The respect we get or we don’t, a hurting attitude from others – all this are at the center of our attention, and when it is like that, there is no room in us for being sensitive for other’s distress, from too much ‘I’ there is no room for real consideration for the other’s distress.
Generally, in our day to day life we are not in need for humanity, we are focusing on being efficient and functional.
When we are required for human warmth to another we are like in country that we do not speak its language, or as a fish outside the water, it is outside our domain.
Can we imagine the following scene: an old man is coming to cashier in a train stations and says: “it is difficult for me in this life; I am lonely, I am sad, it is not the life that I thought was waiting for me, I wanted so much to talk to someone about it after all the lonely days”. What would the cashier do or say? Would he desert his seat for a moment and go out and hug him?
Or an uncle coming for a visit to his nephew, and the nephew asks automatically: “how are you”? And the uncle replies: “well, I am depressed and I feel nobody really cares”. And so many of us feels like that, at least from time to time, and wouldn’t dare open it to a relative.
What would we say and do when to our question of ‘how you are’? He will let us know that they discovered in him cancer stage 4? Would we hug him with empathy? But instead we try to help by some technical advice, but we are not supposed to help, we are not doctors, we are human, and this, our part in being human, we cannot do.
We would hardly ever turn to a friend or relative and ask him: and how are you in your life? Is it difficult sometime? And if yes, do you have anyone to talk to about it?
We do not know how to react when confronted with the naked and exposed intimacy of another, it embraces us.
We lost our humanity’s capabilities in the same way that one could forget a language and how to get to an old place – after long time.
We are used to the faceless of people in cars next to us, in trains or bus, we don’t feel anymore that something is missing.
So many lost and lonely people are passing us by and we have no clue.
From year to year it is easier to be a stranger to others than being human, with all which that means.
Love does not come instead of human warmth and do not come instead of humanity and it cannot compensate for its absence.
Technical applications are coming to occupy the space that humanity left behind.
So, the direction of us as human beings is away from humanity and being more and more technical.