When I get overwhelmed with current events or tired of celebrity headlines, I love taking a break by visiting websites that collect positive stories and checking in with fellow humanists on social media. It’s reassuring to hear about all the good that is still happening in the world instead of getting distracted and frustrated by the challenges we constantly face. It’s inspiring to learn about how people see a need and figure out how to fulfill it themselves or see an issue and bring folks together to address it. As humanists, we often discuss and debate ideas but putting our values into action each day is what being a humanist is truly all about.
Humanism is also about appreciating the folks taking those actions so we can uplift and inspire each other and encourage more engagement. While some famous humanists often get the accolades and attention, there are many individuals doing important work on the ground that deserve to be recognized. Speeches and books are powerful, but we need to also value those practicing humanism, not just talking about it. We should move away from idolizing superstars and move towards celebrating our movement’s group organizers, activists, support staff, volunteers, and everyday humanist heroes.
These folks are speaking up by giving invocations and commenting in public forums, sharing traditions by performing weddings and funerals, creating projects that bring aid to people who need it, spreading education by preparing events and maintaining websites, showing up at rallies and protests, and keeping our organizations running by managing buildings and finances. They’re getting out into their communities making and distributing supply kits for unhoused people, caring for sick and elderly individuals, assisting families and students, and cooking and packaging meals to share where needed. They’re thinking globally and acting locally, knowing that no action is too small or simple to matter to another needing support. There are infinite examples of how people are using their talents and resources to make society better. We love sharing about the amazing members of our local groups and The Humanist Society endorsed celebrants and chaplains, and we want to hear from you all, too. Who are your everyday humanist heroes?
Tell us about people who are using the Ten Commitments (perhaps subconsciously) putting humanist values into action, and inspiring others to do so. Our Journeys to Humanism series allowed individuals to share their stories of coming to the humanist lifestance and our Essential Humanism series highlighted essential workers in various fields helping us through the pandemic. Our new Everyday Humanist Heroes series celebrates people making a difference in their communities. Who do you want to celebrate?
We look forward to receiving your recommendations and sharing them here on TheHumanist.com for others to enjoy and get inspired by. With your help, we can create another collection of positive stories to provide folks with a much needed break and burst of hope.