What does it mean to put humanity, nature, and equality before yourself?
As the term “Iam4th” began to grow, and evolve its meaning to include humanism and activism, we realized that we had come across a unique counter-concept to the popular religious ideology, “I am Second.”
That religious campaign holds to the notion that one puts God first, and themselves second. This implies that all others, including the environment, nature, family members, those in need, discriminated populations, and even their own children, come third, fourth, fifth, and beyond.
In the humanist worldview, that is incredibly selfish.
So when we say “Iam4th,” it simply means that we aren’t putting our self interest before important matters affecting the world around us.
Here’s an example: A co-worker comes out as gay, and a group of other co-workers are giving him a hard time. You hear the conversation, and as a straight person, you want to speak up in his defense. But you keep quiet for a fear of being made fun of yourself.
The person who puts equality before themselves would speak up. That is what being 4th is all about.
We all have different levels of how this affects our lives. Some may elect to be vegetarian, putting nature before their self interest. While someone else may elect to be vegan, and go a step further. Many others might make an effort to only purchase products from ethically-treated animals such as “cage free eggs” or “free-range cattle.”
This isn’t a competition of who can be a better social justice warrior, it’s a personal challenge for you to consider.
Whether it’s taking a moment to pick trash up from the side of the road, volunteer for an animal shelter one weekend a month, or march in a Pride parade as a straight ally, we’re asking that you ask yourself how you can put something from nature, someone in humanity, or a cause for equality before your own self interest.
We are not “Number 2” behind a god. We are all in this together, and when we realize how important our roles are for the greater good, we can have a positive impact on the planet, each other, and the fight for equality.
That is what humanism is all about. #Iam4th