Human or inhuman

by Rod Smith

“Yes, sadly,” I expressed days ago, “we all carry an edge of  inhumanity.”

It was not written to insult but to inspire a deeper look both for you and for me for none of us escapes the common brush of our inhumanity. For most, it is subtle, for  we have highly developed skills to hide the harshness we usually prefer to think is not lurking within. 

Do you experience any of the following? 

Indifference when others, strangers, even neighbors, suffer. Indifference when you read of wars and calamity in far off places.

A cold shoulder turned to the person who’s in trouble by his or her own doing where “but for grace there go I” is forgotten. 

A determined forward stare at a traffic intersection when a hungry child attempts to gain attention. 

An inner sigh of contempt when a friend recounts her abandonment that occurred decades ago. 

The short tempered reaction with what you or I may assume is another’s stupidity with a task or challenge you and I may find offers you and I no challenge at all. 

If you, as I do, recognize any such responses, then you are not unfamiliar with your inhuman edge, an edge that’s waiting to be shaped and make you into a person even more beautiful and kind and patient than you already are.

2 Comments to “Human or inhuman”

  1. This column really struck me to the core. I identify with all of the points expressed by you. My circumstances have changed and I have become bitter and resentful and feel like people have taken advantage of me. How do I change the way I feel? I hate myself. I was not always like this. Up until eighteen months ago I ran a soup kitchen, sponsored various needs anonymously and up until now I am accommodating a family of five at my home at no expense to them. I was retrenched four years ago but by the grace of God I was/am able to do all of this even though it has been difficult.

    But…there are seeds of resentment growing in me and what once made me cry now leaves me emotionless. How do I get back to that loving , thoughtful person I used to be? Praying for a renewal of my spirit seems to be a futile exercise right now. I recognize my problem and I am desperate for a solution.

    Ps…..writing from Durban, South Africa

    • Thank you for your letter. Durban sounds very appealing right now. I shall attempt a reply to your moving letter in a day or two. Thank you for writing.

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