No Man is an Island
“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.” John Donne
Is the opacity of walls and doors an illusion that make us think that we are not connected to one another and that whatever goes on “behind closed doors” is not our business?
It seems to me that the world belief is just that, but are we kidding ourselves and is this belief necessary for us to justify the lack of support, charity and kindness that we should show to others?
Privacy is of course, a very important idea and a necessary one, but metaphorically speaking, if all the walls came crashing down, then it would be much more difficult for evil deeds to be inconspicuous.
*ALERT SPOILER AHEAD*
This concept reminds me of a movie with the very talented (in my view) Denzel Washington, The Book of Eli, a post-apocalyptic action tale portrays a world, which has now been turned into a wasteland 30 years after a nuclear apocalypse. Denzel Washington’s character, Eli, who happens to be blind, though not at all obvious, is carrying The Bible to a specific destination in order to save mankind. Along his journey, across demolished and ravaged lands he finds himself battling with villainous characters who try to thwart his success.
Gary Oldman’s character, Carnegie is set on taking The Bible from Eli because he has the understanding of its power and of course as most sinister thinkers do, he wants it for himself.
Though Eli wants peace, he finds himself consistently jeopardizing his life in order to protect the written words of God. It’s almost as if the movie indirectly asks the question, “How would we behave if all the walls came tumbling down and we were left to self govern and self -protect?” It might look like The Book of Eli and even some old westerns where there was no law to govern the people.
Evil has been around since the “so-called” fall of man, but in The Book of Eli the fight against evil portrays a more apparent and blatant external picture of wicked thoughts.
The goodness that Eli strives to accomplish in the midst of such depravation depicts how there are no more hiding places to shield evil. It is walking the streets, out in the open, threatening to capture and destroy Eli who has within his possession, the Holy Writ.
On a day to day basis for those of us who are striving, not only as Eli did to hold onto the holy word, but to live it, the battle in our own minds, homes, neighborhoods, governments, corporations, societies, and world seem to often emulate the same challenges that Eli faced by those who are working diligently to prevent us from practicing peace, love charity and the inclusive good for all.
Below are some of the alarming and startling statistics that substantiate the idea that though closed doors provide privacy and safety, they also harbor evil and mask abominable acts.
The Book of Eli, though a grotesque picture of how the world would look if left to the government of evil is an accurate projected picture of how wickedness in thought becomes manifested in deed.
To expose evil is to destroy it! To harbor it is a conspiracy against us all! In the gospel of John 3:20, John writes that “All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.” NLT
Today, there are television and news programs that have been in the “exposure” business as well as many charitable organizations and foundations aimed at uncovering malevolent, pernicious and inhumane acts, so If walls were transparent and we could see what may be going on that needs to be halted, then how much more involved would we be? With the statistics of what is taking place that we don’t see first hand that we would be face to face with, we would be hard pressed not to get involved.
Today, there are many ways in being beneficial to improve the conditions of our world without putting ourselves in harms way. After all, we are not all trained like Eli, but with constructive and peace-loving ways, from praying and blessing others, to donating to causes that fight for the rights of those who otherwise have no voice or no hope for escape on their own, to volunteering or to just learning to love more will be like a soothing balm, that seeps into the pores of all mankind.
Caring for ourselves must include caring for others if we want to experience a more peaceful and loving existence and leave a world that way for our children.
We read in 1 Corinthians 12:26 “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” ESV
To exist thinking that we do not effect one another, to think that we can be an island unto ourselves and block out what needs healing, is not only self serving, but delusional!
No man is an island nor can he separate himself from the rest of mankind even though he thinks he can in his own mind, for as Helen Keller said so profoundly, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
KJV-King James Bible
ESV-English Standard Version
I think that animals and nature can always teach us something if we dare to learn. Let’s discover what ants can teach us.
Such a small thing an ant is, but don’t let that fool you because they sure can build big ideas!
Have you ever been faced with ants in your house? They seem to show up in groups!
Speaking about groups of ants, the biggest ant colony in the world used to be in Japan made up of 306 million workers, 1 million queens and 45,000 nests. A “massive supercolony was found in Southern Europe – built by Argentine ants.”1 That was more than 3700 miles long, including billions of worker ants along with millions of nests. The distance between Mexico to Alaska! Okay that’s amazing!
Living and working together as a unit is a demonstration of strength in numbers. “...it was discovered that the biggest Japanese, Californian and European Argentine ant supercolonies were in fact part of a single global ‘megacolony’. That means, they live in a global network just like us humans. Two ants from this ‘megacolony’, no matter how far apart they lived from one another, never fought each other. They were all part of the same group of ‘buddies’.”2
“Buddies!” That’s something.
Joining together in one accord is a great lesson to learn from ants. Banding together harmoniously, “a league of their own,” if you will, playing on the same team to accomplish the good for all is most certainly a useful and productive concept.
There is however, one thing I would like to point out. Once the queen ant mates with the males to produce more females, the males die soon afterwards, so maybe we should leave that out of the lesson from ants!