Tuesday, August 29, 2006

No man is an iland

This passage from Thomas Paine's Corner:
First, Katrina is symptomatic of a form of negative globalization that is as evident in Ottawa, Paris and London as it is in Washington, D.C., or New Orleans, or any other city throughout the world. As capital, goods, trade, and information flow all over the globe, material and symbolic resources are increasingly being invested in the "free market" while the social state pays a terrible price. As safety nets and social services are being hollowed out and communities crumble and give way to individualized, one-man archipelagos, it is increasingly difficult to struggle as a collectivity, to act in concert against a state that fails to meet the basic needs of citizens or to maintain the social investments that provide life-sustaining services. As nations fall under the sway of the principal philosophy of the times, which insists on the end of "big government" in favour of unencumbered individualism and the all-encompassing logic of the market, it is difficult to resurrect a language of social investment, protection, and accountability.
reminded me of John Donne's famous passage:
"No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe;
every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine;
if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse,
as well as if a Promontorie were,
as well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine owne were;
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee."

[MEDITATION XVII, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne (1623)]
Despite a few incidents in as many weeks, things like these serendipitously appear and remind of why I have chosen a particular path. Unfortunately, the unreality that most live in on the path I have chosen requires great amounts of anti-toxin to counteract the poison that enters our lives every day from everywhere.

I have to believe it IS possible to do good and help others to find it too. I suppose this something I take on faith. And even if it may not do the good I hope, it will be another step along the way. At the very least, I will have lived my principles.