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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What is a humanitarian?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

(Photo)
Paul Harbour
Are you a humanitarian?

A humanitarian is someone who is devoted to the promotion of human welfare (American Heritage Dictionary).

Though most people possess the traits of humanitarianism, their concerns and compassions are often directed toward friends, family and whom they known on personal levels.

However, to be a true humanitarian, you must be compassionate for those you do not know personally.

For example, people who are less fortunate than you, at different social levels, speak differently, and/or look differently. We are often too prone to use personal judgments to decide if someone asking for help is worthy of the help we are able to give. It is easy for us to help those with whom we relate. However, it is morally exemplary to help those who are in need regardless of who they are.

One example of a selfless humanitarian is Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, otherwise known as Mother Theresa.

A citizen of India, Agnes was fascinated by religion and the stories of missionaries she heard as a child, and decided early that she would dedicate her life to religion and to the helping of the needy.

Agnes dedicated her life to the poor, the sick, the orphaned and the dying.

In places of economic hardship, at times and in place where others would not help the needy, Agnes always found the time to help.

She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and at the time of her death, she had created more than 600 missions in more than 100 countries.

She died in 1997 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003.

If you have benefited from an act of kindness by an individual or organization and have a first-hand account of a true humanitarian, I would like to know. To submit a Random Act of Kindness story, please respond with an e-mail address and phone number to murrayharbour@yahoo.com.

"We realize that what we are accomplishing is a drop in the ocean. But if this drop were not in the ocean, it would be missed." -- Mother Theresa