No Man is an Island
Updated: Jun 8, 2019
I am a piece of humanity, a part of the whole.
Social conditioning has shaped me to be an individual. To see myself as me – not you.
To prove to the world that I am me I have a passport containing a photo of a mature woman looking like a disgruntled frog. I also have a Medicare and driver’s license number, and an employee and tax file number. In my wallet is a bankcard, library card and discount card for Sussan shops.
I even have a Royal Automobile Club card, which means if I get a flat tire on the highway in the middle of a freak hailstorm someone will come to help me – not you – unless you’re also a paid-up member. These items tell the world I am unique.
Which is a good thing. It oils the clanking machinery of everyday life.
But there’s more to me than this!
The world, I am told, urgently needs what only I can give it. I need to see myself as an important person. Life gurus insist I have goals, that I focus on success. I’m urged to set myself apart from, above or beyond the common crowd. T-shirts passed in the street beseech me to strive to survive! To gain through pain! Commit to commitment! Reach higher! Do it now! Do it better! Be the best me I can be!
Although there’s a little bit of truth in many of these exhortations, it’s not a complete picture.
I am me, but I am more than me. In many ways I am you, too.
John Donne said it best when he wrote a sermon that became the poem No Man is an Island:
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
I am the me in my passport but I am also connected to everyone in the world. I am a piece of humanity, a part of the whole. Although I’m on this earth to be me, I am the best me I can be when I remember I am also a part of you.
I am me, but I am more than me. I am you, too.
With love, Marlane