On the meaning of HumanLight — by Dally Messenger

This is an excerpt from a talk given at the second ever HumanLight celebration in 2002, in Little Falls, NJ, by Mr. Dally Messenger, a humanist leader and secular celebrant from Australia. Since he wrote this in 2002, it has been used often as a reading at various celebrations because of how well it captures the meaning of HumanLight. Feel free to use it as well, (as long as you properly credit the author). Quoting Mr. Messenger:

“This holiday celebration we have called HumanLight because, just as we are conscious of how the sun brings light and life to the physical universe, we realize that human beings can bring light and life to one another. Many of us call ourselves Humanists. This means that we are dedicated to bringing light and life to our fellow human beings. The light we bring, we usually call reason, which means the clearest and best thinking we have to guide our way through life’s challenges. The life we bring is the love, the hope and the compassion we have for our fellow human beings, our neighborhood, our environment and our world. We know that life brings sorrows, but it also brings its moments of happiness, enriching relationships, fun and laughter.

HumanLight means all these things. We get our light, and life, and love, from our own experience and from carefully listening to the best thoughts and insights from all kinds of sources. Thus we live life as happily and responsibly as we can, and we bring to others and ourselves all the joy we can. In short, we try to be enlightened, and to bring to our local circle, and our world, that human beauty and light which mirrors the beauty and the color of the morning sunrise.

We believe this is a good way to live, the best way to live. We feel good about this, we feel honest, authentic and comfortable.

We are well aware that we are often very fragile on our own. So most importantly of all, we need to bond, to connect and to work and share with others. That is why our relationships, with our loved ones, with our friends, with the people who share our values, — are the most important things in our lives. That is why we are together today. We are here to celebrate each other, to create and strengthen bonds, and to enjoy and have fun with each other in this traditional holiday season.”