Being human and tapping into your humanity is actually a thing and when you turn it off or mute it things just do not seem to go as you may want to have them go. Ron Hammond has just published a book on the subject, titled Live Your Humanity - How to Reconnect With Basic Human Values to Live a Life of Meaning and Connection. He’s joining in for a Candid Conversations interview to give us a peek between the covers. Ron thank you for taking time out to tell us more about the book.
Ron H.: Hi, Cliff. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me.
Cliff T.: Just looking at the title of the book is interesting, and a bit daunting. The title gives the impression that this book really goes deep into the question of what makes us humane. Was that the idea here to, go into some depth and look if you will for nuggets of truth?
Ron H.: The idea behind the book is to explore and activate the human values that each of us already have. I like to say that we come off of the factory floor with these values, and sometimes everyday life and the stressors that we face can get in the way of our ability to maintain and nurture these values. Values such as integrity, kindness, compassion and love can go dormant, and when we let this happen, it has a negative impact on our connections with one another. There are ten chapters in the book, and each chapter is devoted to a specific human value. I detail how I was able to activate each value for myself drawing on relatable real life experiences that were reminders of each value’s importance.
Cliff T.: What is it meant to have a connected life in terms of humanity and living in a manner that is humane?
Ron H.: I think about this in terms of those everyday interactions that each of us have as we go about our normal days. We have opportunities every day to connect with other people, but it can be easy to sleep walk our way through those opportunities without paying attention. Saying hello to someone when you pass them by on the sidewalk, making some extra effort to chat with the person that is ringing your groceries or striking up a conversation with a stranger as you’re standing in a line are great ways to connect and are the gateway to developing long lasting and meaningful connections in your life. When you pay attention to how good doing these things feels to you, it makes you want to keep going. The same thing applies to our long term relationships and friendships. At the end of the day, each of us really wants to be heard, and when you make that extra effort to listen and to see someone as they are, you create an abundance of connection and meaning in your life.
Cliff T.: I was curious as I read the press release about the fact that we have to nurture human values or they will go dormant. Do you address that in the book and how is it addressed?
Ron H.: I do address this in the book. At the end of each chapter, I share five easy suggestions with the reader on how they can activate and nurture each value for themselves. These are the same suggestions that I used for myself and the results have been fantastic.
Cliff T.: Ron, is Live Your Humanity meant to be a guide to help people begin or reactivate the nurturing skill needed to be connected with ones own humanity?
Ron H.: I believe so. I wrote this book because I took notice of how I had let my own human values go dormant. At the time, life felt unfulfilling and mundane and my connections with others was lacking. So, I set out to proactively change that, and in the book, I’m sharing with the reader how I was able to do that for myself. The book offers a blueprint to follow, and I encourage the reader to adjust as they see fit for their own circumstances.
Cliff T.: I also noticed that you had a career in Corporate Finance. Was there something that led to the change in direction from this career to what you are doing now? And is what you did in that job an influencing factor for the change and the book?
Ron H.: I went through a pretty painful and callous layoff that upended my world and made me question my path going forward. Up to that point, my career had been very successful and rewarding, but I will admit that I had been questioning its continuation and pondered for a long time about writing this book. I believe that there was some kind of divine intervention through that layoff that brought me to where I am now and bringing this book to fruition. I’m eternally grateful for all of it and so happy that I have this opportunity to connect with so many people around the world.
In answer to your question about the job being an influencing factor for the change and book, I would say that my corporate roles, along with some other personal life experiences over the years, were influencing factors for the book. There were times when I was working 60-70 hour workweeks, I was exhausted and irritable, and life felt unfulfilling. I noticed that many of my co-workers were feeling the same way, and I knew in my heart of hearts that things could be better. Unfortunately, it took a stressful layoff to wake me up and make me take action. I credit that event with setting me on the path of adding meaning and connection in my own life and I hope that my ideas will help other people do the same thing for themselves. It also brought me to you and the readers of your blog, which fills me with joy.
Cliff T.: Did writing the book help you reconnect with your humanity?
Ron H.: Absolutely. I mentioned this earlier, but at the end of the day, each of us wants to be recognized for who we are. If we take the time and make the effort to really see one another while shedding any judgment and preconceived ideas that we may have, the door opens for us to experience meaning and connection in our own lives.
Cliff T.: There certainly is a lot of stuff going on in the world the biggest being the pandemic. Would you say that the pandemic is affecting people’s ability to act in a more humane manner?
Ron H.: I do think that the pandemic has added an additional layer of stress that has been tough for everyone to deal with. Our way of life has changed, and since most of us are resistant to change, we see that manifestation in how some people are treating one another today.
Cliff T.: What would you like people to get from the book and what would you say to people who are dealing with pandemic overload?
Ron H.: It’s ironic that we live in a time where we have access to never ending amounts of information at our fingertips through our devices, yet we’re feeling lonelier than ever. The pleasure centers in our brains are activated when we receive an email or text message and also when we are scrolling through our Facebook feeds. I believe that this is one contributing factor to the large amounts of vitriol that separates us, rather than bringing us together. What I hope people get from my book is that those same pleasure centers in our brains can also be activated by actually connecting in real time with other people, and that through those connections with others, we add meaning to our lives.
For those that are dealing with pandemic overload, which is a lot of us, I would suggest to hold on and take a deep breath. We have to be strong. We can’t doubt our resourcefulness as human beings, and now is not the time to submit to our anger and frustration. Instead, let’s turn our energies toward committing to working together to overcome this challenge, just as we have many times before in our history. We’ve witnessed in our past that when we come together, we can overcome almost anything. It takes effort and a willingness to roll up our sleeves and go the extra mile in support of our fellow human beings to make this happen.
Cliff T: The book is being released in a couple of days, you must quite excited to see how it is received. Have you had feedback regarding Live Your Humanity pre release?
Ron H.: I’m very excited about the release of the book and am hopeful that it is well received. I have already received a lot of positive feedback on the book thus far, with comments indicating that the book is timely and offers up useful insights on how we can come together. I’m excited to see what readers think after the full release of the book.
Cliff T.: And where will people be able to get the book?
Ron H.: The print copy will be available in bookstores on Tuesday, January 11, 2022. The electronic and hard copies will be available on Amazon, Kindle, iBooks and Nook, as well.
Cliff T.: Ron thank you so much for speaking with me and my readers about Living Your Humanity. I hope the book flies off the shelves. I do think this is a perfect book for our current time. Once again thanks for doing a Candid Conversation.
Ron H.: Thanks so much, Cliff, for talking with me. It really has been a pleasure!
Ron Hammond a former Corporate Financier has just gotten his book published. Live Your Humanity: Activate Your Innate Human Values for a Meaningful and Connected Life, by Ron Hammond, will be released by Morgan James Publishing on Jan. 11, 2022. Live Your Humanity —9781631955709 —has 178 pages and is being sold as a trade paperback for $16.95.
Ron wrote to us from his home in Denver CO.