The Universe is One Being
There is a quote that I highlighted in neon yellow about four years ago. It rings true for me today more than ever before.
“The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. Do no harm. Practice compassion. And do not gossip behind anyone’s back – not even a seemingly innocent remark! The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time. One man’s pain will hurt us all. One man’s joy will make everyone smile.” – Elif Shafak, Forty Rules of Love
Everything and everyone is interconnected. The more I learn about the world around me, the more I realize how there is an invisible thread linking everything together. As someone with great interest in public health and human health in general, let’s look at one somewhat simplified example of how this plays out. For instance, it has become evident that gut health affects brain health and brain health affects our overall well being. What affects gut health? The gut microbiome which depends on the types of food we consume. What affects the quality of the food? The quality of soil affects the nutrient levels and quality of food that grows on it. But we cannot talk about individual health without talking about public health. And we definitely cannot discuss human health, group or individual, without considering the environment and systems we live inside.
One man’s pain will hurt us all. For example, wars, poverty, and violence in one country immediately mean refugee crises and immigration issues for other countries. If there is even one hurt or oppressed person or group of people, we all feel the consequences. Hence, topics concerning social justice should be of much interest to us all.
There is not a single issue that can be studied or resolved in a vacuum. And there is not one person who can succeed and thrive in separation from others. The world, and all of us individually, are multilayered, complex, and very closely connected. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we will be able to make the world a better place.