POSTED BY: BOB KNOTTS
OK, good question. We still hear it a lot: “What is the Humanity Project?” Because we’re quite different from many other nonprofits. Most nonprofit organizations have a single main goal: To feed the homeless, for example, or help disaster victims.
Not THP. Basically, our mission involves putting a profound idea to practical social use. We try to transform a deep psychological insight about human beings into programs that work in the real everyday world. So what is that deep insight, that profound idea? It is this: Every single human being thrives or withers based on a constantly evolving self-image. If that sounds vague, it isn’t. Here’s what I mean. All people feel a powerful fundamental need to believe that we have value as individuals, that our own life is worth something to society.
As the great philosopher and psychologist William James expressed the thought — “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” Among many other thinkers over the centuries, Freud recognized this and called it the desire to be great. That basic concept forms the foundation for everything the Humanity Project does. Then we compare society’s needs with our organization’s pool of talent. That is, we review the experience, skills and knowledge of those folks working for the Humanity Project, exploring areas where we can most effectively create innovative programs based on the need for individual value. If you look more deeply at any of our programs, that’s what you will find.
Our acclaimed Anti-bullying Through The Arts program turns bystander schoolkids into a force that exerts positive peer pressure on bullies — because even bullies want to feel appreciated in some way or other. They may try to seem tough or cool or funny or whatever, seeking approval from other kids. Our program teaches bystanders how to constructively show bullies their behavior is unacceptable.
With our I Care: Just Let Me Drive program, we rely on the strong teen need for friendship and acceptance, tapping into this through a special teen-created book and website that help young drivers concentrate more effectively on the road.
And on our website, www.thp4kids.com, older students who have dealt with bullying, sexual identity issues, social isolation and other common youth problems made engaging videos, music, blogs, poetry, games and more. The site offers a unique online friend to tweens and teens who need positive advice and a greater sense of individual value, as you can see for yourself by visiting some of its main features. In addition to these programs, the Humanity Project also has an original philosophy for daily life, something called “shared value.” Like our group, it is empirically based, practical and effective. You’ll read about shared value if you open the “About” menu tab above. We’re very proud of the work we’re doing … and we know it’s only the beginning. We hope you may want to learn much more about the Humanity Project and join our growing team of sponsors, partners, members, volunteers and friends.