“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Interdependent Web of Life

These are the words of Marcus Aurelius, the great Roman philosopher:

"All things are interwoven with one another; a sacred bond unites them; there is scarcely one thing that is isolated from another. Everything is coordinated, everything works together in giving form to the one universe. The world-order is a unity made up of multiplicity: God is one, pervading all things; all being is one, all law is one (namely, the common reason which all thinking creatures possess) and all truth is one - if, as we believe, there can be but one path to perfection for beings that are alike in kind and reason."

If we believe that this is so (and I do) then everything we do has a knock-on effect on everything and everyone around us. I read these words as a reminder and a warning - that all of life is sacred, and it is our duty to treat others (and the earth) "with absolute justice, equity and respect". (Charter for Compassion).

Forrest Church quotes Unitarian Universalist minister David Bumbaugh: "We are called to define the religious and spiritual dimensions of the ecological crisis confronting the world, and to preach the gospel of a world where each is part of all, where every one is sacred, and every place is holy ground, where all are children of the same great love, all embarked on the same journey, all destined for the same end." Church continues: "Unlike those religions that view the world as a charnel house from which we must escape, Unitarian Universalism reveres the creation and challenges us to nurture it, even to defend it against ourselves when we lose our sense of intimacy with the earth as the ground of our being, the living web that connects us."

May it be so.

Friday, 18 May 2012

All You Need Is Love

Often in this life, it is easy to pretend that all is well, that you are self-sufficient, that we don't need anyone's help. But eventually, there comes a time when relying on yourself is not enough. You need to reach out to another human being, and, in all humility, ask for what you need. There is no shame in this, or there shouldn't be. As John Donne wrote:

"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 friends 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."

We are all "involved in Mankind" (or humankind). Love (or compassion) is the central truth of all religious traditions. Every time we reach out to another person, every time we feel their pain, every time we try to make someone else's world a better place, we are putting love and compassion at the centre of our lives. Which is where it needs to be. As St. Paul wrote:

"If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. ... And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love."

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Some Good Advice

I have not had a good couple of weeks - lots of stress about various things. So I was uplifted by the picture below, which was posted by Joy Happiness Love Family:

So I am going to really try to not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess; just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best.