Pamela MacNaughtan

I have never thought about choosing a word to describe my hopes for a coming year. It is something my friend Lola has written about at the end of each year, but it wasn’t something I thought of doing myself until I last month when I started contemplating personal changes I want to make for 2018. It was during those last few weeks that a word began rolling around my brain, humanity.

Humanitynoun : 1. all human beings collectively; the human race; humankind 2. the quality or condition of being human; human nature 3. the quality of being humane; kindness; benevolence

An elderly Thai coconut seller at a floating market in Bangkok

I have always been introverted around my peers and a people person with complete strangers – please tell me that is normal behaviour – but after my dad passed in 2015 I went through a period where I didn’t want to be around people. I became hypersensitive. I shuddered at the idea of being around peers or having to work my way through crowds. I felt raw and exposed like everyone was watching me. Talking about me.

I was going through an identity crisis, I didn’t know it then, but I know it now. It lasted a little over two years.

Choosing to Focus on Humanity

We live in a world that, at times, feels as though it is enshrouded in negativity, and positivity becomes harder and harder to find. It is in this environment that I feel compelled to focus on the various aspects of humanity, looking for the beauty and inspiration and character of those around me.

I am focusing a lot of my energy inward, dealing with personal insecurities and finding ways to love myself more and do what makes me happy. I am also focusing on humanity.

I love interacting with locals when I travel, whether we speak the same language or not. I love those small moments of connection, the brilliant smiles and the soulful eyes. The opportunities to learn about new cultures.

While I definitely have some things to work on personally, I am also making more time to connect, to support others (whether they be fellow writers, photographers or a local independent business owner). Positivity, kindness and support can make a lasting difference to the people around us, and it is something I need to do more of going forward –no matter how much I want to dig a hole and hide!


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