“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” ~ David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas …..
Whether we understand it or not, we are important simply because we are alive. Our lives are interwoven into the fabric of time and humanity, and thus bind us to all others who have lived, and are now alive. Furthermore, we “birth our future,” and all that it binds us to, by both the good and the bad that we do. Whether our footprint on this Earth leaves pain, hurt, and sadness through our crimes and failures, or whether our footprint leaves joy, love, and hope through our kindness.
David brings up some fascinating dynamics throughout the book. Since our lives constantly influence the lives of those around us, we serve as a detriment to society when we look at our lives selfishly. Perhaps this can best be witnessed in how we tend to be treated in the same manner in which we treat others. When we offer sincere kindness to others, we receive it in return. Moreover, we create additional kindness within the tapestry of life.
We are all brothers and sisters. And although our physical traits may differ, our spiritual selves are unified–we are all children of the same Father. Your belief in God, therefore, does not need to match mine, for we are already kindred spirits.
Treat everyone you meet today as your brothers and sisters.
Questions to consider:
Who are some of the people you feel bound to in life?
Why do we tend to focus on separation from others?
How can we strengthen our ability to treat others as our true brothers and sisters?
For further thought:
“Perform a kind action, and you find a kind feeling growing in yourself, even if it was not there before. As you increase the number of your kind and charitable interests, you find that the more you do for them, the more you love them. Serve others, not because they are your friends, not because they are interesting, not because they are grateful…. Serve them because they are the children of your Father, and therefore are all your brethren, and you will soon find that the fervent heart keeps time with the charitable hands.” ~ William Bourne Oliver Peabody