Monday, September 24, 2018

Invisible Connections

Credit: alistair_uk
connections to God and each other are rooted deep within us.

"No man is an island, no man stands alone."

Look at a typical modern nuclear family. They are self-sufficient; they do not need to co-operate with neighbours, relatives or friends to survive. Worse still, each member of the nuclear family lives in a technological bubble supplied with their own cell phone, earplugs, iPad, laptop, staring at personal T.V screens. Men are cut off from each other, their own true self and God.

However when a tragedy strikes, the trauma shakes everyone out of their individual igloos and suddenly there is a sense of a collective sharing of emotions. Everyone experiences and shares in the same sense of horror, pain and sadness. We discover that in fact that we are connected to our fellow-man, that no one is truly alone. There is a sense of solidarity in the face of a disaster. We need each other because the disaster has stripped away the facade that I am self-sufficient. Suddenly we feel vulnerable.

There was a folksong based on one of John Donne's quotes, sung in the sixties and seventies that echoed these sentiments,

"No man is an island

No man stands alone

Each man's joy is joy to me

Each man's grief is my own."

Using the same quotation as the title for his essays,Thomas Merton (Trappist, Contemplative Monk) in No Man is an Island said,

"Every other man is a piece of myself, for I am a part and a member of mankind."

Therefore, no one can yell out in self-righteous indignation,

"What is this world coming to?. I am shocked, horrified by how that man acted."

Society is not some vague, esoteric entity that cannot be changed. Real, living, breathing people make up society. They can decide to affect humanity by loving each other as much as they love themselves. Each personal act of kindness affects all of humanity just as each act of violence weakens the faric of society and stikes at the core of each man. woman and child.

About the Writer

My husband and I raised 9 children on a hobby farm and discovered fulfilment and joy.The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. My writing is humourous and heart warming/ thoughtful and thought provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it.
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8 comments on Invisible Connections

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By Rum-Punch Drunk on December 19, 2012 at 09:32 am

No man is an island for true Motherofnine9, but it's very hard to get people to communicate effectively with one another when the choice is, you don't have to. Yes, when disaster strikes we become one big loving family, helping each other and the caring factor kicks in big time. Then afterwards, we yearn to retreat back to our own private space, we even dare put up signs to say 'no trespassing' and such like. It's a bit like having a 'hedge of divine protection' all around. Protection from others.

I guess this article raises my own guilt of choosing to be more secluded as time goes by, for a variety of reasons. A great post for me to think about.

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By melanie jean juneau on December 19, 2012 at 09:37 am

Don't forget that Thomas Merton was a HERMIT! His writing connected him to his fellow man and his prayers. It is the heart that matters, not physical interaction

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By Barbara MacDonald on December 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Yes Melanie I do is the heart which binds us together as human beings....somehow in this "concrete world" we forget this at times ...

You are expressing so well what a mentor of mine believed....

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. " Leo Buscaglia ... Great article my friend....!!!! more please....:-)

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By melanie jean juneau on December 19, 2012 at 03:01 pm

Leo is a very perceptive man and thanks for the encouragement

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By HomeRearedChef on December 19, 2012 at 06:02 pm

Wonderfully expressed, Melanie. See, in the last few years, I have come close to becoming a recluse, (job loss, losing our homes, etc.) but my children are always working to keep me in the open and within their circle of love. They will not let me drown in my depression (which often tries to plague me).

I thank God for them everyday of my life. :)

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By melanie jean juneau on December 19, 2012 at 06:46 pm

that love spills out through your writing to countless others

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By Barbara MacDonald on December 19, 2012 at 07:10 pm

Yes Virginia, you are gifted with such a beautiful compassionate a pleasure to know you and read what you write and share.

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By HomeRearedChef on December 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Thank you, Melanie and Barbara. I really do feel very lucky to have made a friendship here with you. :)

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