The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.
My 6 year old daughter: Mom? Since everyone in the world has a mom or a dad or a sister or brother or a friend… and their friends have moms and dads and friends… then isn’t it like everyone in the world is one whole giant family?
Me: Yes, it is like that. And because it’s like that, that’s what makes me so upset when people in the world are so angry with each other, and fight with one another, and try to hurt each other. Since we are all of us part of one big family on the earth, we should all try to include each other and be kind to one another, not always fight.
My daughter nodded. She understood, completely.
For my daughter, what I said wasn’t a stretch. My words weren't Pollyannaish (even though as I said it, I worried, am I being too "out there"? Too positive?); it was, for her… just natural. Just as it naturally occurred to her that everyone is linked, it also naturally made sense that being linked would mean being kind and empathetic and inclusive.
We are all – all of us – one big human family (and as a vegetarian with non-theistic Buddhist tendencies, I’ll add that we are also part of the greater living earthly family – animals, plants, people – all organisms, intertwined). We are like the giant redwoods in Northern California: without their giant canopies, entire species of plants and animals that live hundreds of feet up in the air in their elevated ecosystems, or down on the ground in the fertile shade, might not exist at all; and without those animals and insects, the redwoods’ seeds might not be dried and dispersed as necessary to continue their propagation. Without our entire earthly family, where would all of us be (insert appropriate Twelve Monkeys, Matrix, or Wall-E scene, here. Yikes.)?
As easily as my daughter can see the world as one big family, I am moved to try to do the same. If we are all interconnected, then the things I do and say to my children affect the things they do and say to other children; which in turn can affect the way those children treat others; so I will pay greater attention to my words and actions. I’ve always believed the love and empathy I show my children will reverberate through generations (it’s one big reason I believe so strongly in attachment parenting); so why show anything but? Her simple and certain acknowledgment that all people are one is so inspiring!
So, in an effort to celebrate our connectedness, I want to thank you, my blogging family, for reading. I’m sending you all joy and peace for the days ahead, and hoping you’ll pass it on (Remember that all of our seemingly tiny words and actions can be like the proverbial butterfly’s wings. Who knows what a small kind gesture might do for the future?)!