This I believe:
Everything is connected.
This simple idea has important implications both in the way that we view the world and the ways we behave.
The idea that everything is connected doesn’t have to be some abstract concept. It can start with the fact that physically everything is literally connected.
You can’t wave your arm without moving molecules of air. You can’t hear someone speak without their instruments of speech moving air that then touches your machinery for hearing. You can’t read a written word or view a mountain without light particles (and/or waves) bouncing off the page or the glacier and entering your machinery for seeing.
Taken a small step further, all these things that are doing the speaking, hearing, writing, reading, and everything in between are not only physically connected but also made of the same thing. They are made of basic building blocks that bounce around and interact, exchanging energy to create the universe as we know it. They can be disassembled and reassembled in a nearly infinite number of ways but they still remain as blocks bouncing around and interacting with each other.
The complex way in which our blocks are assembled has given us the unique ability to know that we are a grouping of blocks and understand that they are the same blocks as the oceans, the air, the mongoose, and the moon. More importantly, we are so complex that we have some ability to make decisions about how we interact with all the other groupings of blocks.
When we think about the world in this way it is easy to understand a simple kind of reincarnation and karma. We are connected to and a part of everything else that exists now, that existed before us, and that will exist after us (in as much as “we” are separable from anything else) and everything we do affects all of those things.
We all wish we could change the world but it is important to realize that every single thing we do, even if we are sitting alone in the forest, effects everything else, even if it seems to be indirect or inconsequent.
We can let this idea be discouraging or empowering, frightening or exciting but once we understand this most basic way that everything is connected we can begin to seriously look into how we interact with the world and each other.
This I believe is the reason to strive to give the world more positive than negative energy, to be compassionate, and respectful, to be quicker to create than destroy, and to find kinship with all. With this idea in mind, it becomes impossible not to respect the beautiful and awe-inspiring ways the tiny blocks dance to create everything we know and thus to act respectfully.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.