NO MAN IS AN ISLAND Click the title. Are you old enough to recognize the song? It's called, “No Man is an Island.” I remember first hearing it when our church put on a program of the same name. Of course, part of the program was to remind people that they need God in their lives, and that if He was in their life, they would never be alone.
However, the program went far deeper. There was a common thread in the program that reminded us that we need one another. Singularity can be a dangerous thing. Every community has at least one person who lives like a hermit. In a town where I once lived, there was a man called the Goatman, because his only companions in his tiny shack in the woods were his goats. Sadly, the goats were not able to save him the night his little shack caught on fire.
Too often on the news we see where a person has died and it was days before anyone even realized they hadn’t seen them in a while. Worse, was when it wasn’t that they missed the person, rather that the stench of death had told them something was awry.
Actually, if one substitutes other words for “Man,” the title of the song takes on a bigger, maybe a more frightening meaning. “No family is an island,” “No community is as island,” “No state is an island,” or, “No country is as island.”
If it helps one to relate to this better, substitute the word island with isolated, a synonym of island. Think about it: why when they want to make a movie or TV show about people being isolated do they put them on an island?
Before money entered the picture people looked out for one another. They created a system of bartering where goods and services were exchanged directly from one person to another, one family to another and so on.
Imagine what life would have been like had each family lived only on what they could provide for themselves. A good hunter’s family may have had so much meat they were tired of eating it. Likewise, how hungry would the family of a builder be, with lots of living space and no food?
The advent of money to purchase goods and services was actually an improvement. I’m sure it eliminated the arguments that must have occurred over the value of goods that were exchanged.
We will always have poor who need and can’t provide for themselves. Our country was once known as one of those with the heart to reach out and try to help others. At least until recently, when the question being raised is why the U.S.?
True not everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make a good life. That fact seems to be forgotten to many, including many of our nation’s decision makers.
Lately we are turning people in need of a haven away, returning them to the unfortunate life they were trying to escape. I’m not saying there don’t need to be immigration rules, but they do need to be evaluated and revised.
The U.S. is also insulting past allies by imposing stiff tariffs on goods, creating a lot of hard feelings toward us from these countries. How deep their disappointment in us goes may depend on how many more changes are made that will alienate us from our former friends.
“Making America Great Again” seems to be more “Making America Independent of Others.” This attitude could be very dangerous.
Yes, this blog is based on my opinion. An opinion I believe is shared by many others. I do have a few final comments as they relate to the following article 10 War-Torn and Poorest Countries in the World
After reading about these countries you may wonder how it relates to my topic of “No Man is an Island.” Let me conclude with a brief explanation.
The countries described in the article have something in common beyond the fact that they are poor. These are countries where as the rich get richer the poor get poorer. Too many of these countries do not receive aid from other compassionate countries. This is in large part because the money won’t ever get to the people who need it.
The leaders of several of these countries don’t care that their citizens are dying of starvation and disease. They care only for a small select group of citizens who support their leadership.
Lastly, these countries are torn by war and the casualties of these wars are the same poor people no one cares about.
Could you say these countries are islands or isolated? I believe that is exactly how the people suffering feel.
Does any of this have a familiar ring? Perhaps not yet. But I believe if we don’t change course it could be us.
Right now we have the opportunity to keep it from happening in America. We have something few in these lowly countries have - the right to vote. We need to use that right to make the changes “we” feel America needs.
posted by Pam Garlick