Snaking throughout all of human history, the biggest lie rears its hissing head time and again. It’s the lie that begets all other lies. It’s the lie that leads to indescribable atrocities and the lie that encourages and flames violence in all its forms.
The biggest lie enables the “us versus them” lie. Because, the biggest lie is that there is a “them.”
The truth is that we are all “us.” The truth is that humans are all deeply connected in ways we are still trying to understand.
If we’ve learned anything over the last 2 years of the pandemic, it’s that what happens in a village in China or in a town in South Africa will eventually impact all of us.
If we’ve learned anything over recent decades dealing with drug abuse in the U.S., it’s that what happens in inner city communities will eventually emerge in rural areas (and vice versa).
If we’ve learned anything since the 1970s its that the choices farmers make in the Amazon Rainforest, will impact all humans on the planet by either accelerating or reducing climate change.
In truly countless ways, all of humanity is connected. When one hurts, we all do (or will) eventually hurt in some way.
But the opposite is also true.
Generosity, for instance, also has proven to spread across human networks not unlike a virus. Not only do generous actions cascade across human networks (termed “positive conformity”), but the very spirit underlying the generosity appears to be transferred from human to human. If people witness others acting generously (or simply are made to believe that others are acting generously), their responses to other people are more generous, kind, and compassionate. Even one year later!
No matter the mission of your institution. No matter who your organization serves. It’s important to keep in mind that your work encouraging others to act with generosity has more than a localized benefit. When you invite people to give, you are helping create positive waves that ripple across all humans.
The antidote to the biggest lie is more generosity. Generosity, in all its forms, connects all humans in positive ways while steadily chipping away at the lie of “them.”
And you have the immense privilege of promoting and encouraging the power of generosity. Do it well.