(installation along Mexico border by artist JR)
In an Age of Dehumanization, Our Humanity Matters Even More
We are experiencing a crisis of metrics.
We look at facts, numbers and statistics so long that we lose sight of the humans that embody those figures. Too often, actions are explained away under the guise of “the way things have been done” and we abdicate responsibility in order to follow protocol.
This idea dominates the current dialogue across a broad range of issues, yet nothing is more palpable than the situation unfolding along the southern border of the United States. Families are being ripped apart in an effort to show what “zero-tolerance” really looks like and how one country plans to fix immigration. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.
In my opinion, this issue goes beyond policy. The problem is our own inability to recognize the humanity of the situation and the humanity in ourselves. A lack of empathy is at the root of this issue and nearly every other that plagues our global community.
We simply aren’t choosing to SEE other people.
This same notion is why we started our work in the first place. I initially participated in systems of international aid that operated from a position of knowing the “facts” surrounding global poverty. Well-intentioned programs setting out to cure poverty were leaving vulnerable people groups stripped of their dignity and with no path toward independence.
Myself and some friends were fortunate enough to build relationships with the people who made up the statistics surrounding global poverty. We came to understand the things we shared in common — the aspirations of providing for family and the chasing of dreams — and this changed us.
Moving from a process of fixing an issue to understanding an issue is a long and arduous journey. In many instances, we won’t see that journey conclude in our lifetime. However, what we can do now is to help those around us grow in our collective empathy. We can earnestly try to put ourselves in the shoes of others and begin to build solutions from that point of view.
This is why KNOWN SUPPLY exists, to build bridges and increase understanding amongst different people groups. We have a mantra we use all the time. We want to be “The Most Human Brand.” We want to stand for humanity within, as well as outside, the apparel industry.
It’s for this reason that we are doing something new… this week (07/12 – 07/19) we will be donating 50% off all profits to RAICES Texas, an organization providing pro-bono legal aid to families affected by separation at the border. It is our humble way of using what we have to make an impact and take a stand with our fellow humans. Please join us.
Our work is just beginning. Let’s stand up for one another, lean on one another, and continue to be more collectively human.