We are more than individuals. We are interconnected.
We are social creatures, designed to live and love amongst one another. We are meant to understand and appreciate each person, recognizing that there is a divine presence within every human life.
Every day we face challenges to this harmony and peace. While we cannot control the world and how it works, we can control how we direct our own energy towards friends, family, and others we meet on our path.
The effort we spend on one another is the effort that determines who we really are – and Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh has a wonderful take on how compassion and love help us to develop as human beings:
“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce.
Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce.
Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding.
If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh
Ultimately, we have only the people who surround us each day – and they are ours to cherish, to love, and to nurture… which helps us grow in turn.