Feelings and Human Belonging

The writer addressing an audience, November 2013

A typical Probus Club audience.  This one,  the Hunters Hill Club, claims to be the  oldest club NSW, Australia and was founded in 1976
A typical Probus Club audience. This one, the Hunters Hill Club, claims to be the oldest club NSW, Australia and was founded in 1976

Your happiness is registered in your heart

Do you realize your happiness is registered in your heart by how you feel? To us, our feelings are the most important thing in the world.

Do you remember that plump, dowdy -looking woman standing on stage in that huge auditorium before thousands of people? She didn’t look the part. She didn’t look professional. You remember the skeptical looks of those judges. The song began. A voice, powerful, emotional, beautiful rang out - and before she’d even sung for half a minute the crowd were on their feet cheering, whistling. “I dream a dream.” - Susan Boyle had arrived in our lives.

Why were we moved by Susan’s song? In a phrase: our feelings of human belongingness.

Reunited! Feelings of human belongingness!

The world waited in anticipation...
The world waited in anticipation...

Thirty-three Chilean miners pulled to safety

Do you remember when those thirty-three Chilean miners were pulled to safety after being trapped 2,000 feet underground for sixty-nine days? The world had waited in anticipation as this long rescue progressed. When those miners came up – wow! Church bells rang out all over Chile - but we rejoiced too. Why? In a phrase: our feeling of human belongingness.

Way back on 20th July 1969 a blurry, televised figure, clad not unlike a deep sea diver, clambered down a slim steel ladder and placed a chunky, insulated boot upon the dust of the Moon.

“Just one small step for a man – one giant leap for mankind.”

The world rejoiced as countless millions watched. Neil Armstrong claimed the Moon for all of us. Why were we so moved? In a phrase: feelings of our human belongingness.

Neil Armstrong on the surface of the moon

Countless millions around the world watched as this most famous of all astronauts bounced around upon the moon's suface in July 1969.   It seems a long time ago...
Countless millions around the world watched as this most famous of all astronauts bounced around upon the moon's suface in July 1969. It seems a long time ago...

The Ancient Greek Philosopher, Socrates said -

2500 years ago Socrates said, “I am not a citizen of Athens. I am not a Greek. I am a citizen of the world. *Okay, so we know he said that before the Euro crashed.

Today we are all citizens of the world.

There are those who say we’ll never achieve world peace and worldwide human belongingness. They’re our pessimists… Their glass is not only half empty – * they worry about the chlorine in the water.

We optimists know better. Our glass is more than half full; our ‘cup runneth over.’ * It has beer suds on top – champagne bubbles!

We drank Snapps and sung marhall songs!

In 1945 I was a lad of nine living in London, England. The Germans and Japanese were still our enemy. Only ten years later, as a sailor in the Royal Australian Navy, I was drinking Snaps aboard a German merchant ship with ex crew members of a German U Boat. We sang marshal songs! Now we were friends celebrating our feelings of unity, our human belongingness.

Ralph C Smedley founded Toastmasters in 1924. He made it international! Imagine if Smedley had said, “Don’t cross that border, lads. Those Canadians are not our people. * Why, they’re still jealous that we bought Alaska off the Russians.”

Ralph Smedley believed in a united world. He obviously had feeling of human belongingness.

Identify with the many. This is the secret.

Expand your feelings human belongingness. Identify with the many. This is the secret. The wider our personal parameters, the bigger the world we identify with, the grander and more frequent are those wonderful feelings of unity and belongingness we all yearn for.

So expand your feelings for the world. Immerse yourself in them. “We are the world” – you’ve heard the song. Our contribution to world belongingness is important. Remember - All people are our people. We are Humankind. Celebrate your feelings as a citizen of the world.

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