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We are All Interconnected – A Reflection

April 4, 2020
The local herd and two exhausted Bull Elk during Rut a few years ago.

As I pray and contemplate in silence the world situation I am struck by several things. While the media seems to focus on the negative because blood and guts sells airtime it seems, there is something even larger and greater going on. A friend of mine from Canada shared a story from a Doctor friend of his about a growing bond between construction workers and healthcare workers in Canada. It seems that a friend of the Doctor owns a construction company. He came across 10 N95 masks which he gave to his Doctor friend for he and his colleagues. He then found 5 more and gave them to the hospital folks. The numbers may seem insignificant, but the reality is much greater.

The numbers may seem insignificant unless you are that medical worker on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic who is using over and over again personal protective equipment that is supposed to be single use only. All of a sudden two very different professions are tied together by a common bond. The bond is life and saving lives. One small act of kindness can make all the difference in the world.

If only our government leaders around the world could do more of that and less posturing or fighting. In the words of Satchmo, “What a Wonderful World” it could be. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

As I continue my journey through Thomas Merton’s Book, No Man is an Island I was struck by the closing paragraphs of the prologue. Merton talks about the interconnectedness of all of God’s children. These words are especially timely for this day and age in the midst of the pandemic which is changing lives forever.

There are, of course, adjustments to make his words more inclusive which I believe that Merton would appreciate and do if he were alive today.

We are not all weak in the same spots, and so we supplement and complement each other, each one making up in {him/her-self} for the lack of another.
Only when we see ourselves in our true human context, as members of a race which is intended to be one organism and “one body,” will we begin to understand the positive importance not only of the successes but of the failures and accidents in our lives…
Every other {woman and man} is a piece of myself, for I am a part and member of {humankind}… Nothing at all makes sense, unless we admit, with John Donne, that: “No man {or woman} is an island, entire of itself; every {woman or} man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” (pp. xxi-xxiii)

Small acts of kindness like the act of the Construction Company owner and the Doctor truly do make a difference in this world. It is these random and selfless acts that can turn a horrible and isolating disease into a shared experience where many are working together to save and to heal.

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