Empowered Humanity Theory
Empowered Humanity Theory (EHT) is a theory that humans have the innate capacity to create a better world for themselves by developing three specific attitudes and engaging in 3 Pathways of Practice that strengthen the attitudes. The attitudes and 3 Pathways of Practice consider neuroscience, human psychology, and evolutionary biology with the aim of increasing psychological well-being and the interconnectedness between people.
Empowered Humanity Theory’s attitudes:
- Developing a value-centered identity
- Cultivating a dignity lens
- Prioritizing mindsets of inquiry and compassion above fear and judgment
Empowered Humanity Theory’s 3 Pathways of Practice:
- Practices that build awareness and equanimity
- Practices that build kindness and compassion for self and others
- Practices that celebrate our common humanity
Navigating life with these attitudes, strengthening them over time, and intentionally incorporating the 3 Pathways of Practice into daily routines and lifelong habits is essential for personal empowerment. Incorporating EHT into societal structures (K-12, higher education, the workplace, policies, and procedures) will empower society and humanity in profound ways.
The first attitude of Empowered Humanity Theory is developing a value-centered identity. A value-centered identity is a more empowering and dignified approach than an identity based on stereotypical racial and gender categorizations. Prioritizing personal values allows individuals to define themselves based on their own merits and unique combinations of skills, experiences, and beliefs, encouraging a more inclusive and diverse society. To strengthen this attitude, individuals can engage in practices that build awareness and equanimity, such as mindfulness meditation and cognitive reappraisal. These practices improve emotional regulation, cognitive functioning, and overall well-being, enabling individuals to become more empowered to contribute positively to the world around them and fulfill their potential as agents of positive change, aligning with the principles of Empowered Humanity Theory.
The second attitude of Empowered Humanity Theory is cultivating a dignity lens. A dignity lens is having the understanding that every human being possesses inherent worth and value, and all individuals have the right to be treated with dignity and compassion in a time of need. In a world that is increasingly divided, the concept of human dignity has become all the more important. Society’s shift from valuing individual liberty to valuing group identity has led to an increase in prejudice and discrimination, making it crucial to challenge our own biases and assumptions. By recognizing and upholding the inherent worth and dignity of all individuals, we can foster empathy, reduce the capacity for prejudice, and build a more empowered and dignified society for all.
The third attitude of Empowered Humanity Theory is, prioritizing mindsets of inquiry and compassion over fear and judgment. By embracing inquiry and compassion-based thinking, treating ourselves and others with kindness and compassion, and cultivating self-compassion, we can move beyond our primal tendencies of fear and judgment-based thinking. This attitude is strengthened by engaging in practices that build kindness and compassion for self and others, allowing us to create a more empowered and dignified society where individuals are valued and respected for their unique contributions to the world.
The modern world continues to build walls of division and indignity between us. A shift towards embracing our shared humanity and the dignity of all humans is essential for removing the walls of indignity. Empowered Humanity Theory is the blueprint for doing so and equipping us with the tools to empower us all to build a more dignified world. It’s easy to think that our identity and behavior are set in stone, determined by our genes and environment, but the truth is that we have the power to shape our brains and cultivate the attitudes that will help us thrive. Empowered Humanity Theory offers us a framework for doing just that. By intentionally cultivating a value-centered identity, a dignity lens, and mindsets of inquiry and compassion, we can overcome our primitive survival instincts and build a society that values every individual.
Engaging in practices that build awareness and equanimity, such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, tai chi, and journaling, can help regulate emotions, reduce stress and anxiety, increase resilience, and improve relationships. These practices involve observing and accepting thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations without judgment to cultivate inner balance and calmness.
To strengthen our common humanity and reduce prejudice, we can seek opportunities to find the ways in which we are alike rather than our differences. This can involve building connections, fostering empathy and compassion, celebrating diversity, challenging discrimination, and prejudice, and engaging in acts of kindness. By focusing on our similarities and shared experiences, we can create a more connected and compassionate society.
Practicing kindness and compassion towards oneself and others can reduce stress, improve relationships, boost self-esteem, and enhance emotional regulation. Examples include self-compassion and loving-kindness meditation, gratitude journaling, and acts of kindness. These practices cultivate empathy, self-awareness, and a non-judgmental attitude, leading to a more positive and fulfilling life.