More than ever in our lifetimes, we need humanism.
The world is in the grip of a global pandemic, the likes of which we have not seen for a century.
Governments around the world have introduced a policy of ‘distancing’ to reduce the risk of infection. It is right that we must remain physically distanced from each other, but at the same time it is vital that we use this opportunity to strengthen the bonds of human solidarity that unite us, that we move closer together.
The Covid-19 pandemic is an emergency which has directly killed hundreds of thousands, and the impact of which on the economy has wreaked havoc disproportionately in the lives of those least able to bear it. It cannot help but make us reflect on the interconnected nature of our global society, and appreciate the interconnected nature of our communities and our economies. This reflection, however valuable, cannot ever undo the misery that this virus has caused.
More than ever, we need each other. We need humanism.
Through good leadership, guided by science and empathy, and our global solidarity we will overcome this current crisis. By working together, and learning together, we will begin to contain this virus and to ameliorate the damage it is doing.
The world, however, will never be the same.
Populists and nationalists lie in wait to exploit this crisis, as they have always done, for their own narrow political ends. For some this crisis is an opportunity to reassess capitalism, for others it highlights a crisis of democracy. Many will try to twist this tragedy to fit the same xenophobic and racist messages which they have always spread.
When we can, we will start to build up the engines of trade and commerce. Our world will become busier again. However, as we rebuild our economies, it will be for us to ensure that we build them back better than they were before. With human wellbeing at their core.
It will be for us to put humanism at the heart of this response.
This year, in order to keep each other safe, and not endanger the lives of others, we cannot meet as planned in Miami. The 2020 World Humanist Congress will not be taking place. Humanists International will instead be holding an alternative General Assembly later in 2020. This news will not surprise you, but we are all sad to have to confirm it. You can find a link to information about requesting a refund of your Congress fee here.
On Saturday, August 8th, the American Humanist Association will host a day-long virtual conference, Distant but Together: A Virtual Celebration of Humanism. The free event will bring together terrific humanist speakers who will explore the values and principles that undergird our community. To register and get more information, visit conference.americanhumanist.org.
Please keep checking this webpage for more details on Humanists International’s General Assembly for 2020.