For last week’s posting on this blog, Elephant’s Child [EC] left the following comment, which she has given me permission to quote today:
I believe that global peace can ONLY start with personal peace. On the world stage I am completely insignificant. A tiny drop of water. But perhaps, just perhaps, if enough of us commit to individual peace those tiny drops will become an ocean which consumes the world.
EC’s comment said “Oneness” to me. That is because I believe in the Holy Oneness of All Creation. As the poet Gertrud von Le Fort said decades ago, “Everywhere there is one and never two.”
So I went from thinking of that one droplet of water and how it combines with multitudinous drops to form an ocean—everywhere there is one and never two. All drops become one ocean in which there is no divide. Peace resides within all because all are One.
And so this past Wednesday, as I lay in bed waiting for sleep to claim me, I began to think of all the people who have touched my life and all those whose lives I have touched. I started with family—Mom and Dad, my brother and his wife, my nieces and nephew, my cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents. I went back into the 19th century—as far as I could go—back to the potato famine. Those relatives I’ve never met who fled that famine have touched my life because they touched the lives of their children. Their touch has been passed down to me. Everywhere there is one and never two.
Then I began to think of all those who have taught me and all those whom I have taught. Name, after name, after name—face, after face, after face—came to me. The number is mounting now you see. That is, the number who have touched my life. And each of those teachers and students had been touched by a multitude of others. So all those others—nameless and faceless to me—have also touched my life. Everywhere there is one and never two.
Next I began to think of all those who have befriended me throughout my life—classmates, colleagues, the nuns with whom I was in school, those I’ve met in clubs, those met when I’ve volunteered, the clerks who’ve been generous with their time when I’ve searched for something in a store, the restaurant servers who’ve taken my vegetarian order and smilingly brought my food. The bus drivers, flight attendants, postal carriers, librarians, nurses, doctors, lab workers, therapists. The list expands. So many people. Through them I am touched by all who have touched their lives. Everyone there is one and never two.
Do you see what I am trying to say? Tens of thousands, millions of people touch our lives. And we touch theirs. So many opportunities to give and to receive peace.
All those who have touched my life live on in me. And when I—that droplet of water that EC visualizes—touch the lives of others in peace then it flows forward into eternity, touching, ever touching, one person, animal, tree, shrub, flower, droplet after another into infinity.
One final thought: hatred, bias, fear can be passed in oneness just as peace can. They can be passed from generation to generation. If I am to be a blessing to this world, I must vow today to pass forward healing, compassion, understanding, nonjudgment, acceptance of differences, charity, and yes, peace.