We Belong to Each Other

Today’s post is by Savannah Kate Coffey

There is no denying we live under the constant threat of violence. Sunday night, a celebratory Las Vegas landscape was instantly disfigured into carnage. Terror is its own particular brand of horror, causing pain indiscriminately and without warning.

Individuals have the power to destroy, but individuals also have the ability to heal, especially when bonded with others in a common purpose. Change begins deep inside each of us as we decide what forms our belonging will take. What does it look like to belong to ourselves and to each other? The quality of our presence impacts our families, workplaces, social groups, and even our time at the gym and the grocery store. Each day you arise from bed, leave home and bravely enter this world of opportunity and vulnerability. Do we live with trusting and open hearts despite the uncertainty and risk? Or will we allow violence and pain to shrivel our efforts and dim our imaginations? We counteract violence not by shouting the loudest or becoming immobilized in indecision, but by making life-giving choices, big and small, consistently and bravely.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote that the world will be saved by beauty. That might seem too abstract and impractical, something only a poet would believe. I wonder though if anyone would be tempted to kill other humans if his or her life was full of beauty–friendship, fresh lemons, a nearby garden, meaningful work, the soft fur of a pet, great music, warm bread, a few moments of connection with another imperfect but well-intentioned human, love.  Are we building such beauty and civility into our life together? Are we creating a circle of goodwill large enough to embrace society’s difficulties with confidence in our collective wisdom? Are the structures of our life together gracious enough to hold the vulnerable and struggling, those needing our attention and help?

Suffering will find its way into each of our lives. This is simply part of our shared human experience. The way in which we bear our suffering and the wisdom and love we continue to offer makes all the difference in whether we are a culture that supports and sustains life, or one that creeps closer to destruction.

Although our influence may seem small in comparison to the global issues with which we grapple, let us treat ourselves and each other with dignity as we seek to serve the common good. May beauty and connection be our compass. Our commitment to beauty does not make us naïve Pollyannas. The beauty that saves is both simple and fierce, ordinary and courageous. Such beauty enables us to walk upon this earth gently, as wise stewards serving each other, unwilling to give fear the final word. May we bring that commitment into each of our daily tasks, the reports we write, the meals we prepare, the celebrations we plan, the ways we rest, work, play and love.

Everything you do matters. It is the quality of your presence that determines the quality of our collective life. May we daily serve each other as inspired and brave companions, seeking greater vitality for all amidst every uncertainty we face.

October 10, 2017 by Savannah Kate Coffey 1 Comment
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6 years ago

Thank you for such uplifting words. We need to read more like this in these days. Thoughts as yours will help us realize there are many and very real, practical efforts we can make to bring our world to a reawakening -a mindfulness that will build up and comfort those bruised and broken by such violence and disregard of the gift of our humanity.


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