I Am Involved In Mankind

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I sometimes find inspiration for my posts in the lyrics of a song. Such was the case today. The song was “Let It Go” by Zac Brown Band. The line that got my thoughts rolling said, “…And know you’re not the only ship out on the ocean…” ( I believe Zac Brown is one of our century’s great philosophers. We can discuss that in a future post.)

ships

We are not alone. There are seven billion people on this planet, and each one of us has our own set of issues. As you go about your normal daily routine, realize that every person with whom you come in contact is dealing with problems of which you know nothing. You are not the only person struggling.

I am convinced that not one single person I know is worry free. We all have anger, fear, frustration, stress, and disappointment at some level. Hopes and ambitions keep us agitated. Relationships are a constant reminder of our dependency. Our wealth and health issues are pounded into our minds every time we watch TV or read a newspaper. And yet, we sometimes act as if we are the only person alive who has problems. We are not “the only ship out on the ocean.”

I am also reminded of that familiar poem written by John Donne. “No man is an island, Entire of itself…Any man’s death diminishes me, Because I am involved in mankind.”  Are we truly involved in mankind? As I observe people from day to day, I am constantly reminded that many people are not involved in mankind. In fact, they seem to be self-involved to the point of being totally oblivious to anyone else.

15732467-man-on-the-island-in-sea

For example, there is the person in line ahead of me at the cashier who is on their phone, and thus taking an inordinate amount of time, with no consideration for the 14 other people in line behind them. Or the parents who bring their young children to a restaurant and ignore them while the kids are terrorizing the rest of us. People who are constantly late for appointments have no regard for another’s time.

self

Phone calls or e-mails or texts that are not returned in a timely fashion are an insult. I hate being ignored. Some people who are involved in a conversation, tend to monopolize the conversation by continually interrupting, as if what they have to say is much more important. How about the person who goes through a door ahead of you and lets it slam in your face. Am I invisible? Feel free to add your own pet peeve.

me

There are two issues I want to address in this post. The first is that everyone has their own set of trials and tribulations. The second is that we should be aware of that fact, and treat each other with kindness and respect. In the words of another great philosopher, Toby Keith, “There ain’t no right way to do the wrong thing.”

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8 Responses to I Am Involved In Mankind

  1. D.H. Rotmil says:

    I live in Los Angeles, and this is the center of the universe for the self absorbed. Everyone I know who are from other places notices it too. Just driving around, people don’t put their signals on because they don’t care about the people around them. They walk slowly across a pedestrian crossing, creating more traffic since people are waiting to make turns. Drivers will text of read while at a red light, not caring that there are people behind them. These are just vehicle examples, but it’s indicative of how self centered so many people are. Well written.

  2. shutterpug says:

    Two thumbs up on this one!

  3. Wayne Barton says:

    Magnificently stated. There’s a reason we are brothers. The first thing to accept is that everyone else does not have my values. The second thing to realize is that not one of these people got up this morning with the specific intent to irritate me. The third, and most important notion, is to understand that to change your irritation, you have to change your expectations, whatever the condition or situation. Not one person on this earth is going to change for you. It’s up to you to do the “hot cha, cha, cha.”

    I was beginning to worry about you for it’s been some time since you blogged. I trust you and yours are all in fine fettle.

    Your Brother

    • If I change my expectations, in some way I am lowering my own standard for proper behavior. I guess I will just be content to be irritated. Actually, I posted last week, but you must not have gotten notice. Thanks for being my brother.

  4. Aunt Beulah says:

    Empathy is such an important skill and one that, to me, seems the opposite of entitlement. Thanks for this thoughtful post.

  5. I dislike the idea of entitlement. If a person has worked hard and smart for what they want, I applaud. If a person thinks they are entitled to something without the work, I say, “Shame on you!” Empathy can also be tricky. Sometimes we get so caught up in someone else’s life and problems, that we forget to take care of ourselves. We must strive for a balance. Thanks for the comment.

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