June 6

Today's quotation:

If a person be gracious and courteous to strangers,
it shows that one is a citizen of the world, and that
one's heart is no island cut off from other lands,
but a continent that joins to them.

Francis Bacon

Today's Meditation:

Graciousness and courtesy are not simply attributes that our parents wanted us to adopt in order to be "good kids."  As adults, they aren't just signs of a "good upbringing."  These two traits are important indications that a person realizes the importance of others in his or her life, and realizes that all people deserve our good treatment simply because they are, just as we are.

Many people like to think of themselves as completely cut off from others, as completely independent individuals--islands in a world of continents.  But this perspective is far from the truth, for virtually anything that we do is made possible through our connections with other human beings who share this planet with us.

Our graciousness and courtesy can act as beautiful reminders that we respect and appreciate other people and all that they do for the "greater good."  It can show others that they, too, are citizens of this world to be treated as well as anyone else, and it can make them feel pretty good about themselves.

We can add to the beauty of this world by simply recognizing that we all are united in spirit in our journeys on earth.  We can let others know that our hearts are connected to theirs, and that they are not alone in their journeys, either.  And that knowledge may be just what they need to see their lives in different ways and to reach out to others to pass on the message of unity.

Questions to consider:

Why do some people tend not to show courtesy or graciousness to others?

What does it mean to you to be a citizen of the world?

What happens to us when we see ourselves as islands?

For further thought:

No one is an island, entire of itself;
every person is a piece of the continent,
a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less. . .
any person's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.

John Donne

  

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