Dear Human, You cannot do good all by yourself!
I discovered quite late that the saying, “no man is an island” is really true. I am already 24 years old and just getting what should be the very basics of relationships. Its not that I have had no friends all this while, but most of my relationships with others in the past ran on the premise of “ain’t nobody got time for nonsense” — if I wasn’t seeing tangible benefits, I was out.
I didn’t learn dependence on others and didn’t think I needed it. I didn’t learn to rely and fully trust. You can say, maybe I never found the right people, but I think the problem was that I never approached my relationships the proper way. I was a strong, I can do bad and good all by myself, no wasting time with others kind of person.
This mentality, which is something society generally accepts is quite dangerous. We ask ourselves, “what am I getting from this friendship or relationship?” Or “how is this person of use to me?” And when we find people are of no use to us, we quit, and in quitting, we fail to sow good seeds in to the lives of others, we fail to sow good karma. And going down the line whether successful or not, we begin to realize that there are few people you can fall back on. You think, people don’t care about you, when in fact you never truly cared for them. You never truly were interested in them, you never truly watched out for them, most of the time, you were just watching out for yourself.
In anything at all, in all facets of life, career or ministry, singleness or marriage, present or future, you are going to need people to fall back on.
If you are a pioneer of a company, you are going to need people you can entrust certain things to. When you sow good karmic seeds, it’ll come back around in the near or far future. But when you have selfish motives and intents for your relationships, even though you never brought harm to anyone, the truth is, you can’t expect much from others in the future, cause you never invested in those persons. No matter how much good or genius plans you may have in the future, you need people. Jesus, Confucius, Mencius all needed disciples to carry on with their life work.
What do I mean by sowing good karmic seeds? This is to genuinely take an interest in the lives of others, watch out for them, Invest in your relationships. Sacrifice that time. Sacrifice your money. Pray for them, pray for their heart desires. Give truthful advise. They’ll appreciate you in the future. Try to understand your parents, honor them. Your children will do it to you also. Give and it will come back to you. Do unto others as you wish them to do unto you. Stop being short sighted — work on your foresight, consider the future.
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time. ~ John Donne
Perhaps you have been hurt, disappointed, discouraged, its not only you, in this world, everyone will experience those motions. The core of the matter is that, you need people. We need advice in all facets of life. Have you heard of the saying there is safety in the multitude of counsellors? When you can afford to learn from the experiences of others, don’t pass it up. When you can let others learn from your experiences, don’t hold back. And in partnerships, on equal levels, you need people of your own tribe, people who understand your vision to stir you up. In leaving behind a legacy, you need juniors and successors. People don’t care what you know until they know what you care ~
We have all read those articles or attended some conferences about marriage where they mention commitment being a big deal. It is, and I believe it is a big deal not just in marriage but even in singleness. Imagine if you valued commitment even while single, then it won’t come as a shock or a big deal while married. We need to be committed to people. We need to make more efforts in our relationships.
Often times we are so focused on not being on the losing side, that we miss it all. Indeed, there are times when the situation or environment doesn’t allow for companionship or friendships. These are temporary phases and it’s okay. The problem is stagnating at that level or forever believing that we are better off alone. This a harmful mentality.
Anyway, I want to focus on a bible quote which says, “Owe no man anything, except love”. Paraphrasing this verse, it would be, “the only thing you should owe to others is love”. In other words again, you owe it to your fellow man, to love him or her.
Love is a lot of things. For this article title especially, Love is to want the good and progress of others. Love is to commit to others. Dear Human, truly truly I say unto you, you really cannot do good all by yourself.
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 friends 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
This article was originally published The Fisher Reflects