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15 quotes for when you’re Feeling Disconnected.
In today’s modern society, there’s an epidemic of disconnectedness, despite being surrounded by so many and so much. One can often feel separate, alone, and unmoored from everything. But in reality, we are never really alone.
Vietnamese Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh often uses the word “interbeing” to describe how everything is connected to everything else—how we, and everything around us, “inter-are.” Like that often-used analogy of the “butterfly effect” where if a butterfly flaps its wings somewhere, it sets off a domino effect leading to a hurricane elsewhere.
Okay, so that may not be entirely true, but it does illustrate the interconnectedness of everyone and everything, which is something that has become painfully clear during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are more connected and inter-related than we realize (or that we have forgotten that we are).
Look at the impact worldwide lockdowns have had on the environment. Fewer cars on the road meant less air pollution, and in places that hadn’t been clear of smog for decades, blue sky could finally be seen. What we do has an impact on everything and everything has an impact on us.
In the ancient Greek philosophy of Stoicism, they had the word Sympatheia (συμπάθεια) which means: sympathy, the affinity of parts to the organic whole, mutual interdependence. The great Stoic Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote about it in his book Meditations, where he said: “Meditate often on the interconnectedness and mutual interdependence of all things in the universe.”
On my mobile phone lock screen, I have an image of majestic mountains with the words “we are interconnected” above in a starry sky (my home wallpaper says “inhale courage, exhale fear,” but that’s a whole other topic).
If you need a reminder, here are 15 quotes to help you remember that we are all interconnected:
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security. ~ Albert Einstein
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect ~ Chief Seattle
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world ~ John Muir
Cosmos is a Greek word for the order of the universe. It is, in a way, the opposite of Chaos. It implies the deep interconnectedness of all things. It conveys awe for the intricate and subtle way in which the universe is put together ~ Carl Sagan
It is when we are trapped in incessant streams of compulsive thinking that the universe really disintegrates for us, and we lose the ability to sense the interconnectedness of all that exists ~ Eckhart Tolle
To drop into being means to recognize your interconnectedness with all life, and with being itself. Your very nature is being part of larger and larger spheres of wholeness ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu—the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality—Ubuntu—you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity. ~ Desmond Tutu
Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars. ~ Serbian proverb
Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them. ~ Nikola Tesla
All beings, including each one of us, enemy and friend alike, exist in patterns of mutuality, interconnectedness, co-responsibility, and ultimately in unity. ~ Roshi Joan Halifax
Everything depends on everything else. Nothing exists on its own. On account of all the influences that come to bear upon them, things appear, exist, and disappear, and then reappear again. But they never exist independently. ~ Dalai Lama
When we start to ask ourselves, “Does it matter?” we realize how many aspects there are to every situation. We begin to appreciate how interconnected we are to the rest of the world, and how even our thought patterns can lead to a whole series of consequences. ~ Pema Chödrön
You are never alone. You are eternally connected with everyone. ~ Amit Ray
When many people have this heart connection, then we will know that we are all one, we human beings all over the planet. We will be one. One love. And don’t leave out the animals, and trees, and clouds, and galaxies—it’s all one. It’s one energy ~ Ram Dass
What do you think, do, or say to remind yourself you’re connected with everything?