“If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them.” ~ Francis Bacon …
No man is an island. And although some like to think that they are, that does nothing to remove the effect their actions have on us all–for good or for bad. We are all interconnected in the tapestry of life, and each step we take, each action we choose, each word we speak, and all that we send forth, changes the world around us. Therefore, for the benefit of all humankind, we are to strive to be gracious and courteous towards all those in life, family, loved ones, strangers… and even those we dislike.
The way we treat others in life is a good indication of the type of person we are inside–it is not just a sign of good upbringing, but also a confirmation that we realize the importance of others in our life, and that we recognize that they, too, need and deserve love, happiness, and joy simply because they exist.
By recognizing that we are all in communion with one another on our journeys through life, we build up the positive and healthy bonds of our souls as well as enable ourselves to add to the beauty of this world for the benefit of all. This is made possible through our graciousness and courtesy, which reminds others and ourselves to honor, respect, and appreciate all that we each have that is wholesome and good to offer to the world. After all, our hearts are all connected to one another, and this brotherhood is something of true beauty.
Show courtesy and graciousness towards everyone.
Questions to consider:
Why do we sometimes see ourselves as an island? What happens to us when we conceal ourselves in such a way?
What does it mean to you to be “a citizen of the world?” What are you adding to the world around you?
How does it make you feel when others show you graciousness and courtesy?
For further thought:
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” ~
John Donne, No Man Is An Island (Meditation XVII)