Everything we have comes from someone else. Nothing we do is solely the work of our own hands.
I’m leaving “God” out of this discussion. Your personal belief system, or lack thereof, doesn’t need to interfere in my little observation.
Get all the way down to the raw materials of anything surrounding you—from the innards of your smartphone or computer that started out raw minerals under the ground, that someone had to extract, and someone else transported to the factory; to the coffee in the cup on your kitchen table—the bean that started out a growing on a bush that was planted by someone who may or may not have picked the beans, packed them up to be sent to the place that ground and packaged them…you get the drift.
Pick one thing. Think it through from its raw beginning to your use. Who was responsible? How did it get to you? How many hands touched it—the extractors, the pickers, the packers, the shippers, the stackers, the pricers, the sellers, the baggers? Picture their faces.
Congratulations—your involvement in and appreciation of these processes allows survival for all those who brought your stuff to you!
You see—it’s a circle. A thread that connects us all.
Making sure the persons at the beginning, middle and end of this thread have what they need to survive is good for us, and good for them.
You’re good, but don’t be silly enough to think you’ve done it all on your own.
Our challenge is to connect with the invisible—those who are connected to us by the work of their hands—and to be grateful.
The trick—translate gratitude into action. Ripple effects that make the world a better place will eventually touch those in our circles, much like the flutter of a butterfly’s wing impacts all of creation.
Our belief systems—religious, agnostic, heathen, or points in between—need not clash with our connectivity with our sisters and brothers of our circle. In fact, if this does conflict, I’d question the wholesomeness of such faith.
May we be stopped in our tracks long enough to ponder our connections. And then may we step gently and confidently forward, knowing that we are connected, responsible for and helped by, people far and wide.