In Crisis: How to Remember Our Humanity


For starters, this isn’t a political piece, or really even a bias on a cause. This is my soul wishing to speak to your soul. To offer a bit of encouragement in these frightening times. It doesn’t take much to become troubled at the state of our world. I, myself, rarely watch the news but can easily be affected by traumatic events through social media.

It’s equally easy, to become calloused in order to cope. We see the world around us as a threat, when we are constantly bombarded by senseless acts of violence, and political differences that turn startlingly angry. It is in these times that we forget our humanity.

I found this walking to campus one morning after the riots in Charlotte, North Carolina, following the shooting of an unarmed black man. I felt confused, and deeply saddened, for a multitude of reasons, but one of which is that Charlotte is my hometown. The streets were busy, as it was mid-morning, and I passed quite a few people on the sidewalk but didn’t bother to look up. Determinedly walking to class, I was in my own little protected bubble. Until I crossed paths with another woman and out of reflex offered a smile. To my surprise she gave an enthusiastic smile back, and it instantly lifted my spirits. It was a simple gesture that took very little thought, but held an incredible amount of weight that morning.

A reminder that at the end of the day, we are all human. We are all deserving of love and compassion.

Remember your humanity by:

  • Looking for the good in each situation, by recognizing the courageous efforts of others and in yourself.
  • Graciously give the peace and understanding that you desire to see in the world around you.
  • Remember your humanity by expressing yourself.  Don’t stifle your emotions. If a situation is bothering you, seek help. There is a reason why institutions will often employ grief counseling in times of tragedy. Allow yourself to healthfully process emotion.
  • Remember the small acts, that have enormous impact.  Smile at a stranger, hug a friend or family member. Simply be there for those around you and in turn remember that we all struggle with processing difficult situations.

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Sarah Clifford

Sarah Clifford is a writer and theatre actress from Charlotte, NC. She is currently a 3rd year Theatre major at Seton Hall University. She enjoys travelling (she's spent the past two Summers teaching in Italy!), dancing, cooking delicious vegan food, and snuggling her Terrier, Marty.

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