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.
- “Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children). Childhelp.org
- On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.Every 9 seconds in the US, a woman is assaulted or beaten.
- On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.1NCADV (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
- Each year 10,000 dogs die in illegal dog fighting
- 13% of animal abuse involves domestic violence; Women in abusive relationships often don’t leave their abuser because they worry what will happen to their pet if they leave; men who abuse their partners tend to be more violent, aggressive people who seem to have no problem ‘taking it out on the dog’”
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