January 11

Today's quotation:

Realize that each soul is related to you.  When you recognize that everyone is part of you, you will find you cannot withdraw from another.

Elsie Morgan

Today's Meditation:

We find it very easy to withdraw from one another because we convince ourselves that there's a significant distance between us and everyone else whom we don't want to have close to us.  "She's not family," or "He's just a co-worker," are things that we tell ourselves to justify pulling away from others.  And to be fair, many people make it really easy to pull away--they take advantage of us, they're not trustworthy, or they hurt us in any of many possible ways.

The truth is, though, that we are all related and interrelated.  There are connections between you and me and every other human being on this planet, and they are connections that cannot be legitimately denied.  We deny them to make life easier for ourselves sometimes, but the truth is that we are more completely connected than we are separated.  Think of the Force from the movies--humanity is bound together by what we share, things such as energy, love, hope, compassion, service, and so many other things.  That stranger who walks up to you and asks for directions is just as strongly related to you in spirit and in humanity as your sister or brother or father is related to you in blood.

Recognizing that connection, though, immediately implies some sort of responsibility.  And it's true--we are responsible to treat each of our fellow human beings with dignity and respect and compassion.  It's not a sin to deny your help to someone who has been taking advantage of you, for sometimes the best thing we can do for such people is to cease to enable them so that they can work their way through their own issues.

Life becomes magnificently brilliant when we realize our connections with others, when we realize that there is a Force, and it's made up of our shared love and hope and dreams.  Don't withhold your love or compassion from anyone, and soon enough you'll find that you belong as a part of a greater whole, and you'll no longer be looking at life from the outside, but you'll be an integral part of that greater whole.

Questions to consider:

How are you connected to the person who just rang up your groceries?  To that guy in the car in the next lane?

How can we come to grips with our oneness, and start to live as if we truly were one with the rest of humanity?

How do we learn that we're separate from others?  Who teaches us this?  Why do they do so?

For further thought:

All are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.  I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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