Friday, 13 March 2009

Perhaps the Greatest Statement About our Place in the World

"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 friend's 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..." 

John Donne – Meditation 17 - Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions

We should never forget our place in society and we should never forget our duty to mankind. We are the trustees of our children's future and we should not allow the self to engulf our wider views. We are a social ape and that is our strength and our weakness, but it is something that none of us would give up, the free and open society is what most of us strive for. Nobody should believe in their own self-importance, all of us are created equal and each of our lives contributes such an infinitesimal, but nevertheless significant part to our world. Donne was so prescient and it is so ironic that he called it an Emergent Occasion, as now we are starting to appreciate mergence and how everything is connected to everything else.