“Many people do not know that they can strengthen or diminish the life around them. The way we live day to day simply may not reflect back to us our power to influence life or the web of relationships that connects us. Life responds to us anyway. We all have the power to affect others. We may affect those we know and those we do not even know at all…. Without our knowing, we may influence the lives of others in very simple ways.” ~ Rachel Naomi Remen …
Because we are all so interconnected through our mutual humanity, we hold tremendous power to influence the lives of those around us both positively and negatively. We are not independent–that is a myth that diminishes our power to positively affect the lives of others. And as Rachel points out, we do not have to try in big ways, for even without our knowing it, our influence is inherent in our interdependence on one another.
As a society, though, it often seems that we are taught that independence is ideal–that we should seek to venture out on our own, do things our own way no matter the costs, seek to please only ourselves, and show little concern for the needs of others. And unfortunately, many children grow up thinking that asking for help is a sign of weakness. However, if we would just permit ourselves to ask others for help, and to allow others the chance to help lighten our load, we might find that our experience of life has just become better, and so too has the lives of those we touch.
We have the ability to “strengthen or diminish the life around us.” This is an incredibly powerful realization that may be a bit overwhelming if we have any fears or reservations of our ability to socialize and coexist with others. Still, we need each other for nourishment–both receiving it and giving it. And by contributing to the lives of others, we directly contribute to our lives as well.
Show compassion, love, and concern towards others today.
Questions to consider:
Have you strengthened the life of someone recently? In what ways?
Have you diminished the life of anyone? How so?
What are some ways you can strengthen and deepen your relationships with others?
For further thought:
“We are not put on this earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.” ~ Jeff Warner