We accept this polarity as human nature then move on in our ‘glassy essence’. All the while our righteousness lords over other life; yet we beseech gods for mercy. Our anger flares to violence; yet we demand justice. We covet ceaselessly, give generously. Our wallowing is legion; yet we take science and art to Olympian heights.
Not least, so many suffer relentless poverty, each day wondering at living another; so many are refugees from disaster or violence, escaping under unfamiliar skies to avoid a closer death, grasping whatever it is they have left - a child, ragged clothes, a pot to cook in; so many are victims of injustice, of the vagaries of despotism or ill luck, with no legal system to which they can bring their wisps of hope.
Yet despite the increasing vulnerability of life on Earth, we may well be coming to terms with the ‘marble and mud’ of our existence. For in the spring stirrings of the last few years, there seems a new grace born upon this world, perhaps nothing less than a resurrection of humanity. Not least, we are understanding more clearly that our living – this one-shot, too-quick breath of existence – must embrace an inherent responsibility towards the living of others.
In concert with this realization, we are paying finer attention to two crucial questions: “How deeply do I care about our common future? How do I actually make a positive difference?”
As our universal, intertwined fate becomes a more commanding subject in journals and debating chambers, in barber shops and coffee houses; as leaders from all walks of life increasingly commit to finding creative and realistic efforts to combat poverty, famine, injustice and disease; as the world indeed tilts towards the side of the angels, let us lean together in that heavenly direction. With all the heart and energy we can summon, let us honor this fragile, transcendent web of life gifted from the gods by engaging in the essential connection of good intent.
As invitation to that challenge, here, in order of our selection, is “The Humanity Ten” for 2017, our annual offering of the most effective, efficient, clear-sighted, planet-affirming PCE’s (positive change enterprises) on Earth, no less – each a wonderful place for you to continue or begin.
- Tony Balis
“The Humanity Ten” for 2017:
1. The International Rescue Committee (1939)
2. Human Rights Watch (1978)
3. World Wide Fund for Nature (1961)
4. Ashoka, Innovators for the Public (1980)
5. Amnesty International (1961)
6. International Peace Bureau (1891)
7. Survival International (1969)
8. Global Energy Network Institute (1986)
9. Refugees International (1979)
10. Rainforest Action Network (1985)