Do you feel that?

21 Apr

There are currently over seven billion people in the world. Seven billion – that’s an enormous number. It’s hard to grasp a number that big but that’s where we are. Over seven billion of us sharing time and space on one planet. It’s impossible to see all the people, meet them all, get to know them, and learn about them. There are just too many of us and the world is very big. If you started traveling today, and traveled every single day of your life from here forward, you could still never get to every place there is to go.

Our lives encircle a very small percentage of the world population. We have friends, and family, work associates, professional contacts, and the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. And even with our smaller group it’s sometimes hard to realize that we are all connected in some way. The human race is an amazing thing. So many differences, yet so many similarities. We all need food, shelter, air, companionship, and generally we all want love, support, kindness, and caring. There really isn’t that much difference between us despite the geographic boundaries and cultural norms.

I began to realize how much more connected we are than I had thought some time ago when an acquaintance died unexpectedly. I didn’t know him that well, but I found myself grieving and sad. My friends who were close to him were heartbroken, and that made me feel even sadder. I wanted to comfort them, I wanted to comfort his family whom I had never met, and I wanted to help them all. I really didn’t know these people, and I wondered at my concern for them. Why do we have this empathy, this ability to share one another’s feelings? As I thought about it, I remembered other times in my life when people had been sad, or happy, joyous or desperate, and I realized that during those times I, too, felt those emotions with them. Why would I feel so much for situations in which I was not involved? Because the people around me, these other human beings, are part of me. In essence, we’re all really part of the same family.

Think about your life. Haven’t there been times when you were going through something difficult, and a stranger said something to cheer you up? Do you remember times when you saw someone else struggling, someone you didn’t know, and felt like you wanted to help? What about all of those examples of families, towns, churches, and cities that have gone through terrible disasters, and people from all over the country came to their aide. It happens all the time. Why do we do this? We don’t know those people? Why do we care?

We care because our connections to one another are far deeper than we realize. There is a constancy between us all, like a silent, ongoing hum that never leaves us, that is always there, that we don’t hear, but continually feel. That’s how we are as people. We are connected. We laugh when others laugh, we cry when others cry, we rejoice when others rejoice, and we grieve when others grieve. It was meant to be this way. It’s the way it has to be. We need each other. We need to know that we matter, and we need to let others know that they matter too.

Today as you go about your details, your busy life, your responsibilities, your errands, your commitments, and everything else you have to do, think about your connection to those around you. Listen for that familiar hum – that silent link that never leaves you. Listen. You’ll hear it, not with your ears, but with your heart. And if you see someone laughing, join them. If you see someone crying, comfort them. Everyone around you is your brother and sister. Keep your family strong. They need you and you need them. Today make it a point to remember that.

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