Brothers and sisters, I bet’cha you don’t remember the poem, written before gender consciousness, “No man is an island.” Too bad.
John Donne reminds us that it is impossible to live in separation. His theme is if we don’t come to the defense of the “others” around us, then when the bell tolls for our demise, no one is left to defend us! It is in our self-interest to defend the human-ness of others.
Today, I hear dangerous bells: terrorism, racism, nationalism; the foundations of fascism. Holy moly! Donne wrote the poem 450 years ago and his message lingers on. While global society and our environment collapse, our mantra is, “I’m glad it’s them and not us.” (Did you hear the bell ring?)
What’s the solution? We need each other!
When I’m in the presence of another culture, race or gender, I am affirmed as an American, Caucasian, and a Male. Interestingly, they need me to affirm who they are!
For this reason, open the gates of global freedom, tear down the walls of separation, forget the tariffs and the name calling. From space there are no borders; we all breathe the same air; we all eat the same protein. Without each other, we forget who we are.
Donne reminds us, “Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”
Will someone see who keeps ringing our doorbell? Geez!
The Reverend Dr. William Salmon
United Methodist Church, Retired