Monday, November 10, 2014

The Human Condition

A phrase oft used to describe a human plight, "She had to rely on the kindness of strangers" implies that the person had no family or friends who cared about her welfare - and luckily, had the good fortune of meeting compassionate others.

A twist of the phrase also evokes pathos: "She had to rely on the kindness of friends and/or family."

It could be argued that the most solid source of refuge is one's inner strength and connection to the source of life and Light. Yet, we are interdependent creatures, dependent on one another and Mother Nature for sustenance both physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. 

John Donne's great poem says it like it is, without shying away from a reality that is at once beautiful and wrenching:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee. 

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