site administrator | June 15, 2013
As a society we have agreed on general beliefs about what is right and what is wrong. What it means to be successful and what it means to not make the grade. But it is a limited perspective on life. We are all individuals, not molds. As a result, often times we carry on an internal struggle. We impose an image on ourselves of what we think we should be or what others expect us to be rather than what we really are. Instead of befriending and trusting the individual we truly are inside, we sometimes try to deny it or even annihilate it. For instance, if your heart tells you to pursue a career in acting or painting instead of a 9 to 5 office job, what is really keeping you from doing it? The only thing that moves us to be something we are not is fear. Fear of criticism, fear of lack of approval, fear of failure. It is here where you should ask yourself: Should I trust a made-up version of myself or the real version? Which one would better guide me through life? Which one can I rely on?
Bob Knotts | April 20, 2013
It has been a tough week for those of us in this country, here in the United States. The Boston bombing, the ricin mailings, the chases, the shootings and arrests … and of course the deaths and injuries that followed another terrorist attack. At such times, it helps to look toward the light. And toward faith — faith in other people, ironically enough. Whatever your personal religious beliefs, a faith in humanity surely must be part of a useful belief system for any person.
Bob Knotts | March 29, 2013
With the arrival of another spring, the Humanity Project is full of hope. We are an optimistic organization anyway, with faith in humanity based on a rational assessment of our past and present as well as our very attainable future as a species. Despite the news stories of tragedy, there is much more good than bad in this world. And the human race truly is moving in the right direction, as studies of things such as worldwide poverty and access to education have shown. And so as millions of our fellow human beings celebrate religious or spiritual holidays, we offer some thoughts on hope, that most human of emotions.
Bob Knotts | March 14, 2013
We can’t let this day go by without acknowledging the birthday of one of the Humanity Project’s favorite people: Albert Einstein. Born on March 14, 1879, Dr. Einstein lived a long life of great value to the human race, of course. And he has come to represent nearly the dictionary definition of genius in our time. His story is well-known and not something we need to re-tell here. Everyone is aware of his scientific accomplishments that helped us gain a richer, more realistic understanding of our universe. But I suspect many folks still may not know much about Einstein’s humanitarian efforts. These include deeply insightful writings on pacifism and peace. We often quote Einstein on the Quotes page here on this website …
Bob Knotts | February 21, 2013
Sometimes we all ponder the big questions, don’t we? Why are we here? Where are we going? What becomes of us in the end? At the Humanity Project, we think about these things too — through art. All our Humanity Project programs and other materials use the arts in one form or another to help convey a positive message and also to make sure that message sticks in the minds of the people who can benefit from it. One example of this is our original stories for adult readers, which we like to call fables. Short fictional tales of this type have been used for centuries to convey meaningful ideas. The tenth Humanity Project fable just has been completed and posted, dealing with some of those big questions in a fresh, brief, fun way.
Bob Knotts | December 28, 2012
Many of us have a strong desire to help other people. But for lots of good-hearted people, the question is how to do this. “How can I make a real, meaningful difference?” Of course, there are countless needs in our society and countless ways to assist the effort to meet those needs. Here at the Humanity Project, we rely on dozens of adult and student volunteers to carry out our work. But there is something very simple any of us can do to make a real difference — right now. We can focus on helping other people feel good about themselves, showing them through our words and behavior that they have value as individual members of the human race. That’s not as difficult or lofty as it may sound.
site administrator | November 21, 2012
(Editor’s Note: Carolyn Burns is a broker associate with Prudential Florida Realty and a community activist in South Florida. This blog for the Humanity Project was adapted from her recent Facebook post. We felt it was especially appropriate as we enter the holiday season.)
Facebook posts for quite a while had been so negative and divisive since the election that I took time off to put Facebook aside for a few days and figure out what is really important. There was so much garbage on Facebook, so much nonsense and too many personal things being shared that needn’t be shared. It all became distracting in my personal life and filled me with angst and anxiety. There are some really more important issues in our global world and our own personal worlds that need to be worked on. Meditation and solid reflection time was necessary for me to put things back into perspective.
Bob Knotts | July 13, 2012
Do you do the ego tango? That’s my own lighthearted name for something most of us do most of the time around others. We take part in a psychological dance, moving at an emotional level in response to their attitudes about us rather than based on a deeper desire to share ourselves with others. I’m really talking here about our tendency to only open up around those people who like us.
Bob Knotts | June 15, 2012
The great singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell said it long ago. “We are stardust,” she sang, “we are golden.” By now, some people know this is literally true. But many still don’t understand that most of the materials in every human being were produced by the fusion within stars. We indeed are stardust. To me, this always has been a lovely and inspiring fact of nature. (If you’d like to read more about the science of that fact, you can check out this link: http://www.physicscentral.com/explore/poster-stardust.cfm) I am blogging about this on the Humanity Project site today for a reason. Our organization teaches cooperation and social connection as ways to solve society’s problems, creating innovative programs that work. But cooperation and social connection are founded on a central respect for humanity, a belief in the value of every person.
Bob Knotts | May 24, 2012
This week we celebrate the birthday of Ralph Waldo Emerson. With each passing year, I gain a deeper respect for the work of this remarkable American writer. On Friday, May 25, the Humanity Project will commemorate Emerson’s 209th birthday. He lived from 1803 – 1882, a good long life in those days. Emerson wrote poetry and essays, was an accomplished speaker and a forceful abolitionist. But more than anything, I see Emerson as a philosopher, a man whose experience resulted in profound insights about how to live our lives in the most effective, healthy ways.