We Are All Connected

[We interrupt this blog about being connected to acknowledge that 50 years ago Bev saved me from the life of a destitute poet/philosopher by marrying me–and then putting up with me for all those years. Happy Anniversary, Love, Gary]

I receive a little bite of philosophy delivered to my inbox daily–The Daily Stoic. Here is a recent and relevant message:

The Stoics believed that we were all one. Marcus Aurelius referred repeatedly to the hive. He spoke of being part of one large community. Dozens of times he talks of the common good, and how to wrong one is to wrong all, and to do good for one is to do good for all—that to do good for others is to do good for yourself. Seneca spoke of sympatheia, the interconnectedness of all people. He spoke of the need for kindness, for compassion, for understanding.

You might not think that a death in the streets of Georgia or a police killing in Minnesota or immigrant children in cages along America’s southern border has much impact on your safety. You might think that these situations are complicated. You might even question the other side’s political motivations and point to the media’s tendency to inflame things. And that all may be true, but it doesn’t change the facts: This is your problem. It’s everyone’s problem.

Martin Luther King, Jr. perfectly expressed those Stoic concepts of interconnectivity and interdependence when he said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

And I was reminded of the words of Micah in the Hebrew Scriptures, “The LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Which seems to fit with Jesus command (and which St. Augustine instructed us to interpret the New Testament by) to love God and to love our neighbor as ourself.

I’m seeing all manner of inane posts passing around on social media twisting meanings and inflaming emotions. The First Principle of life with-God is love–love one another and love God. Don’t think I saw strife anywhere in that simple command.

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