Encarta Dictionary says that Humanism is a system of thought that centers on human beings and their values, capacities and worth. Encarta also goes on the say that, in philosophy, humanism is an attitude that emphasizes the dignity and worth of an individual. A basic premise of humanism is that people are rational beings who possess within themselves the capacity for truth and goodness. I see myself as a being a humanist through everyday life. I always try to see the good in a person when he/she makes me angry or sad, and say I to myself that maybe that person has had a bad day and living life is difficult at the moment. Socrates was even an early humanist of sorts. He can be quoted as saying, “to know the good is to do the good.” He believed that nobody voluntarily commits an evil act because evil comes from ignorance, ignorance being not stupidity, but having a lack of knowledge. If all people thought as humanists, would peace be spread across the globe?
The Humanist Movement is groups of people who practice humanism and are trying to spread their message globally. It is an international organization formed by people of different origins, cultures and religion, being united by the project to build a truly human society in which the human being is the central figure and human rights are completely realized. Those human rights are the right to health, freedom, spirituality and so on. Today more than 60 countries promote humanist groups.
Money, violence and discrimination today dominate society, and the Humanist Movement is trying to stop these obsessions from leading our everyday lives. The effort of these groups is to have a radical transformation in social, political and personal fields. All these changes must be made in a non-violent way as to preserve our existence with dignity.
Without knowing it, we have all experienced humanism within out lives: working with counselors, psychologists and even teachers. Most of them want to help us find the good within ourselves. A teacher, when one was younger, tried to show one right from wrong; a counselor tries to help people work through problems, such as showing one that he/she is a person that is good. Even a friend can make a comment that makes one feel proud for something kind that one did. These are all humanistic approaches to life, perhaps not practiced all the time by these people, but practiced nonetheless.
In conclusion, to practice humanism is to spread kindness and peace each day and to not let the minor, snippy remarks and crabbiness of others bother us. We must try to realize that this person might be having a bad day or be experiencing a loss or hardship. This may be hard to do at times, but to practice humanism one has to see the good in another even if this individual hurt you in particular. Maybe this person has not been taught how to be happy and kind to others because he/she goes home to a family who is unhappy. He/she has been brought up with ignorance of happiness, and nobody can condemn ignorance, for ignorance is nothing but having a lack of knowledge. Perhaps if more people tried to practice humanism, violence would decrease and people would lead happier and more fulfilled lives. Maybe the answer to the question, “Will a humanistic approach from people spread peace globally?” is to think as Socrates. “To know the good is to do the good,” and a person who commits an evil act did not commit it voluntarily, but out of ignorance. Maybe we all need to show the “good” to those who possess ignorance by helping them find good within themselves.