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Life Focus – A Reflection

May 2, 2020
Several Herds of Elk together on the Golf Course – Nov 1st, 2016

Herds can be an interesting thing. This picture was taken after most of the rut season had ended for the elk. You still heard some bugling by the bulls as they chased the cows but for the most part they were all hanging out together. During the rest of the year the bulls hang out together (I think the cows may be sick of them for some reason!) and are apart a great deal from the women. This is a far cry from the sparring and separating of the cows into “harems” that happens during rut.

Three bulls hanging out in our neighborhood

This brings to mind the various approaches to the current national and international situation surrounding COVID-19. In some places I see people working together to care for one another and work for the best of humanity. We are, after all, interconnected. As John Donne said: No [woman or man] is an island entire of itself; every[one] is a piece of the continent, a part of the main… In other places I see individuals, corporations, and others looking out for themselves and their personal or corporate bottom line. This truly breaks my heart, saddens, and angers me.

In his book New Seeds of Contemplation, Merton says the following this heartbreaking situation: People who know nothing of God and whose lives are centered on themselves, imagine that they can only find themselves by asserting their own desires and ambitions and appetites in a struggle with the rest of the world. They try to become real by imposing themselves on other people, by appropriating for themselves some share of the limited supply of created goods and thus emphasizing the difference between themselves and the other men who have less than they, or nothing at all… They do not know that reality is to be sought not in division but in unity, for we are ‘members one of another. (p. 47-48)

We are indeed members of one another. That is the only way that we can combat the rampant individualism which seeks the good of the self versus the good of all. Doesn’t it all boil down to this?

Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:29-31
Yes, to love our neighbor as ourself. That is how the world will be healed,

  1. hlcgkids permalink

    Loving your neighbor is a individual decision that herds have a difficult time making. The herd looks to the safety of the herd, not the safety of the individual.

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