We Are All Connected
If we reject the challenge to grow in virtue, we fall easily into a
minimalism that manifests in the two great excuses. I have already
mentioned “This is who I am!” We often make this excuse not in celebration
of our authentic self but in defense of a substitute lazy and
defeated self. The second of the great excuses that we use to justify
our self-destructive behavior is “I am not hurting anybody!”
One of the governing principles of the universe is connection. Everything
in creation is connected. When we pollute and scar the earth
by emitting toxins and rape the land of her natural resources, the earth
responds with rising water levels, earthquakes, hurricanes, and harmful
ozone rays. The earth is not retaliating; it is simply trying to heal itself.
Similar connections exist between people. To believe that what
we do in our hometown does not affect people at the other end of
the country or the other end of the world is the na vet , ignorance,
and self-centeredness of the modern era. There are no personal acts.
Everything we do affects the people around us. Everything we do affects
all people, sooner or later. The sum of all human action is passed
down through history.
In times past, when humankind lived more in tune with nature,
when we were tied to the earth, we understood this with great clarity.
In those times, we understood very clearly that if we polluted the water
supply upstream, the people downstream would be endangered.
Today, the rivers are not so easy to see and recognize.
We buy our water in bottles, believing that there will always be
clean water for us to drink. In politics and business, in relationships
and the arts, when we pollute the water upstream, the people downstream
Just because you do something in the privacy of your home, behind
closed doors, with no one else involved and no one else to witness
the act, does not mean that that act does not affect other people.
Every human act affects the future of humanity. Your actions, however
private, have consequences for you and for all of humanity. Your
actions profoundly affect your inner reality, and sooner or later your
inner reality will seek an outer expression through your words and
actions or your silence and inaction.
Everything God created in the universe and beyond is connected.
In ways we will perhaps never understand, we are all connected. Too
often we think of ourselves as different or set apart or independent.
Sometimes these are just words and illusions. We are much more
alike than we are different. We are so much more together than we
are apart, and infinitely more interdependent than we are independent.
When we hurt ourselves, we hurt everyone. “I’m not hurting
anyone!” is just another attempt to avoid personal responsibility in a
world where everything we think, do, and say affects someone, somewhere,
sooner or later.
From Perfectly Yourself
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