First Humanist Principle -- "Dignity and Equality"
(This is taught to students at BBI-supported humanist schools in western Uganda)
The first humanist principle is “Dignity and Equality” - it “proclaims the natural dignity and inherent equality of all human beings.” This first principle is the most important principle, it asks that we respect all human beings, and give them dignity.
Humanists believe every human being deserves respect regardless of culture, race, nationality, gender or religion. Humanists believe everyone has the right to live free of ill treatment and cruelty. We should treat every human being with kindness. We should treat them in the way that we ourselves would like to be treated. Humanists believe no one should be physically hurt, or insulted or verbally mistreated. No one should be a slave, or paid unfairly for their work.
Humanists believe we should behave in a way that helps our community. We should act in ways that benefit our village of Kyarumba. Humanists believe we need to be positive with our words and our actions — are we helping our community, or hurting it? Are we acting in a kind way towards our family members and our neighbors?
To be kind to others means that we do not physically hurt them, we do not say bad words about them, or cheat or steal from them. We are kind to them so that they can have a happy life, and we ask others to be kind to us in the same way.
The reason we are kind to people is because we are humanists - we believe humans have the ability and the power to make the world, a kind, just, and loving place, and we are happy to do whatever we can to help create a wonderful world.
Humanism is belief in human power, through intelligence, education in school, and kindness and generosity towards others - to create positive change in the world.
As humanists, we believe that men and women are equal, we believe boys and girls should be treated the same, we believe boys and girls have the same value as human beings. We believe men and women should never seek control over each other. We believe girls have the same rights as boys, girls should be encouraged to go to school, girls and women should be encouraged to work at all jobs, to own property, to be successful at businesses. Women should all be encouraged to be leaders, to run for President, and chairpersons, and mayors, because they are as capable as men at being leaders.
Humanists do not believe any ideas that say men and women are not equal. If there are religious ideas that say women are not as important as men, humanists do not believe those religious ideas. If there are tribal ideas that say women are not as valuable as men, humanists do not believe those tribal ideas. Humanists believe all people are equal - men and women are equal, people in one country are equal to people in another country, poor people deserve as much respect as rich people, old people deserve as much respect as young people, people in one tribe deserve as much respect as people in another tribe, people in one race are the equal of people in another race.
Humanists also believe children deserve respect and dignity and love. Humanists believe children in school should be treated with love and kindness. Humanists believe children should never be physically hurt, or hit with a stick, at school or at home. At Kyarumba’s four humanist schools, children are to be treated with kindness. Students at these schools should also never be talked to in a rude way by teachers. Students should never be ridiculed or scolded with cruelty. Teachers at the humanist schools need to be examples of humanist kindness. They must treat all the students with great kindness.
The leaders of Brighter Brains Institute are all humanists. We believe humans should be kind to each other. That is why we are being kind to your school, and generous to Kyarumba. We are humanists who see that your school needs a clinic, so we have given you a clinic that will take care of you and give you medicine. We know the older girls in your school want AFRIpads, so we bought them AFRIpads. We will buy you books to read, and food to eat, and we will help you build new classrooms. We are doing this not because our religion tells us to, because we are not religious. We do this because we are humanists. We believe humans should be kind to each other. We believe humans should learn through schools, how to make our lives better. We believe studying and learning new ways to help one another is very valuable.
The leaders of Brighter Brains Institute are especially concerned about the orphans of Kyarumba, children who have only one parent, or no parents at all, because both their mother and their father are gone. The humanists at Brighter Brains Institute want everyone to be especially kind to these orphans, we want to help orphans because their lives are difficult. Brighter Brains hopes all people in Kyarumba and all children at your school will treat the orphans with great kindness and respect. We hope you will act as good humanists towards the orphans, and anyone else in your village who needs kindness and generosity.
To conclude, the first principle of Humanism is to treat everyone with Kindness, Respect, and Generosity. The Humanist leaders of Brighter Brains Institute want to treat you with love and kindness and we encourage you to treat each other with love and kindness.