Am I humanity?

Commentary by Isabel Hernández Negrín, Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain.

This question makes me realise that normally we perceive just the opposite. Instead we want to be apart from others. Sometimes we consciously maintain a distance from people, because we do not really want to be in contact with them. The feeling of separation, of distance, becomes necessary to us, so that we can preserve our security within our own space that has not been encroached upon by others. If you are following my train of thought, observe your feelings on putting yourself in the situation I am describing.

There is distrust and fear of becoming involved, or of losing something in the relationship. This way of perceiving yourself seems to be quite normal: maintaining a distance, being apart; fear of people encroaching and avoiding excessive contact. Fear. And I am not the only one who feels it. What I distrust, is something that you feel too.

It is a chain reaction, a viral behaviour, like almost everything human.

However, the opposite is viral too. If one person is not afraid, the others feel better and braver. If a queue of serious and impatient people is joined by someone entertaining, the others are bound to change their attitudes and smile. They will feel infected by his mood.

To feel at one with others just makes me aware of the barriers that I put up that protect me and keep me separate and then, at that moment, I let them down. I cease to separate myself from others through fear, and my perception of others automatically changes. I sense that joy and misery are the same for all of us. Then, I am humanity. Try it and you will see that it can be infectious.