Treat everybody like it’s their birthday.
-Kid President

The practice of celebrating humanity is first personal. It begins with acknowledgment. It begins with not looking away.

A couple to three times in my life I have been in a new group of people and the person that brought me introduced almost everyone else but me. I certainly didn’t feel celebrated. Had they forgotten my name, it would have been better if they would have said, “And let me introduce you to this fellow who will have to tell you his name.” The simple acknowledgment is the first step. How can you ever celebrate someone’s humanity if you have never seen them or heard them? You cannot. The practice of celebrating humanity is personal.

Finding ways to celebrate humanity — best you can — is restorative.

We easily celebrate the humanity of the special guest, the monied, and the celebrity. Restorative celebration is finding something to celebrate in the person perceived to be the least of these. It often requires being brave. Acknowledging people that up until now I have not seen, heard, or acknowledged requires being brave. If they are people who I find disrespectful or disgusting, acknowledging them requires being brave.

And this personal practice of celebrating, like all celebrations, grows publicly. Celebrated communities are made up of celebrated people.

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Brandon Blankenship