Monday, July 10, 2017

No man is an island

For some reason, when I awoke this morning, I could hear Joan Baez in my mind singing

No man is an island,
No man stands alone,
Each man's joy is joy to me,
Each man's grief is my own.

We need one another,
So I will defend,
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.

The message of course is a timeless one.  We need each other.  Simple, huh? 

In the Book of  Ecclesiastes it says "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe unto him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."

How many of us feel alone though?  Is it the fault of the others is our world, or could we be doing something differently?  There is an story of a little boy who is having a tough time trying to lift a very heavy rock. His dad comes along and seeing him trying, and failing, to lift the rock, asks him, “Are you using all of your strength?” The little boy looks at him rather impatiently, and says, “of course I am!” “No, you are not,” replies the father, “I am right here waiting and you haven’t asked me to help you.”

Yes, it is wonderful to reach out to others.  It is wonderful to do things that will benefit those around us.  That's pretty much what we talk about here every single day.  It is important to note though that when someone does not reach out to us, it is okay for us to ask. 

In his letter to the Philippians, Saint Paul says "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."  How can I help you, AND how can you help me?  We are not alone.  We need each other.

If our strength were to be measured not by what we can do alone but by what we can do together, how would the world change? How might those changes reflect in our idea of caring and of being cared for?

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