In spite of our differences we are all connected

"Who is my Neighbor" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
“Who is my Neighbor” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

You can get a print of this cartoon HERE.

We may disagree. We may not even like each other. We could have profound differences. But I believe we are all connected at a deep and fundamental level.

Our separation, our division, is only apparent. An illusion. Not real. At least not as real as our connectedness is.

Right now there is a lot of tension in some of my relationships. In fact, some ties have been severed. For me, this is not real. Oh, it may feel real. But I work from the assumption that we are all deeply connected, even one, united, and that these dramas are phantoms, shadows on a temporary and fleeting stage.

The “us” and “them” strategies going on right now by some leaders is an attempt to distance themselves from personal responsibility. It won’t work because it defies reality. We are our brother’s and sister’s keeper.

We are one. Own it.

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11 Replies to “In spite of our differences we are all connected”

  1. Yes, oh so true. In my spiritual tradition, a foundational element of both our religious practices and ethical frameworks is the belief that (1) we are all interconnected and (2) every action we take alters and shapes the reality we all live in together.

  2. Actually, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, the religious leaders of the day asked, “Who is my neighbor.” But, reading the passage, you begin to realize that Jesus cleverly turns the question into “Who are you willing to be a neighbor too!” I love the way He confounds the wisdom of the wise. That’s the real question!

  3. A challenging conversation to have, to be sure, when there is hurt flowing all the way around. But it is a big piece of the healing puzzle to glimpse how we are all connected. Great drawing, David, and thank you.

  4. Yes, we are all connected. I will say, though, that there are ties that I have had to move further down the chain for sake of mental health. Relationships that are not healthy are not good to keep close. However, those relationships are still a part of our story and are important to remember.

  5. I don’t think the us and them strategies are so much about leaders distancing themselves from personal responsibility as they are about hanging on to political power. As Hermann Göring explained:
    “…, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
    It has always worked, and always will until most people wake up to the fact that we are one.

    I’m just you in a different life.

  6. It’s a nice idea that we are all connected. I suppose it depends on what is meant by the term connected. As you indicated David, it requires owning to be experienced, the taking of responsibility. And what beauty, joy, honour, mutual thriving and a whole host of other amazing things is to be had when it happens!

    At the same time to say divisions, tensions, separations and broken ties are not real is living in la la land. People go through real suffering when experiencing this either through their own making or the making of others. The kind of suffering that Jesus was not unacquainted with. It’s natural to be adverse to suffering but think about it, to avoid it is to avoid being connected with your neighbour.

  7. Interestingly enough in the parable of the good Samaritan, it is equally true that there were other characters identified that were understood to NOT be the neighbor. I don’t get from Jesus parable that we consider everyone our neighbor, but rather that actions are what defines rather than race or other divisions.

  8. This fits exactly what I was talking about in class this past week, we get lost in big pictures but are called to resonate the life of Christ with those around us. It’s all too to talk and preach about wider society or wider issues, meanwhile badly treating or ignoring the people we see every day.

    I would love to have this on a t-shirt.

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