Donne and Terry, Terry and Donne

In Ramblings on December 10, 2004 by Cody McComas

This teaches us that perfect honesty and simplicity consists not in devoting attention to oneself, even when ones aims are lofty, but in forgetting oneself and responding to others, in love, according to their needs. We are not oysters or abalone, existing in shellseven though that is how we may feel when we become self-involved. We are members one of another, connected to each other, and especially to God, by spiritual sensitivities and obligations profound as eternity. And just for that reason, we become most ourselves when we are most true to God and to one another. We become most right with ourselves when we are most right with them. Jesus example demonstrates this. (Honest Simple Solid True C. Terry Warner Brigham Young Magazine, June 1996)

Re-sounding in my ears with more clarity are the words of John Donne:

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 Meditation XVII 1642)

This part of the essay by Warner made me understand Donnes words like never before. The thought that we are best with ourselves only when we are best with others is powerful and leaves in me a strong desire, even a feeling of necessity to treat others with the utmost and highest respect.


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