If you were to look at an aspen
grove, you would see trees of different sizes standing near one
another. Separate trees - at first glance. However, if you were
to go beneath the topsoil - to dig deeper than the surface -
you would see that the root system of all the trees is the same.
Each tree is connected to the other, an interconnectedness serving
as the perfect metaphor for how we exist as human beings. We
may think we stand alone, but we are as interconnected as the
aspen trees. What affects one of us affects us all, regardless
of whether or not we feel it on a conscious level.
Understanding this interconnectedness
reinforces the need to widen our circle of compassion. While
there are many effective programs and organizations serving people,
and while volunteerism is increasing, the needs still outweigh
the current response. We have the ability to help everyone have
a healthy experience of life. And while there is much to do to
make this our reality, the simplicity of it all is clear. By
understanding that love is a verb, not a noun, we can translate
our compassion into action.
A simple shift in perception removes
the boundaries - helping us to see how alike we all are. A shift
in priority motivates us to not tolerate the tragic living conditions
that continue to exist. We can make this world a place where
every person has the opportunity to live well. To choose to do
this is to live the possible life - to be fully human.
- Dr. Mark Bergel, 2001