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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.”