Members of One Body

Earlier this year I had a bladder infection which caused a lot of pain, and, because of an evening trip to the emergency room, cost a bit of money also.  In the days following, I did not direct anger and hatred toward my bladder for the suffering I had experienced.  On the contrary, I heaped on lots of tender loving care.  Along with an antibiotic, I bought expensive, organic, unsweetened cranberry juice, took herbs that are good for healthy bladder function, drank lots of water, and took a little goldenseal to give my immune system a boost.  I also rested a bit more than usual because stress and lack of sleep may have contributed to the infection setting in in the first place.

My whole body suffered because of this infection because all the parts of my body are connected and affect each other.  If I drop something heavy on my big toe, my entire body and mind feel the effects.  Stress hormones kick in, my heart beats faster, my ability to walk is limited for a time, my blood pressure goes up, and it’s hard to think of anything else until the pain subsides.  I probably hold onto that toe for a while and do everything I can to make it feel better and heal.

What if all the human beings on earth are part of one large body?  What if everything we do affects everyone else?  What if we are helping the whole body when we help one part of the body?  What if we are hurting the whole body when we hurt one part of the body?

I happen to believe that we are all members of one body and that we need to nourish and care for one another as well as for ourselves.  When one member is disturbed and starts to cause pain for the rest of the body, sometimes we need to isolate that part and help it to get better so it doesn’t cause pain anymore. That might involve some restriction of movement for a while, some teaching, some accountability training, some love and care.  Maybe we need to dig deeper to discover what might have caused that member to become disturbed and work to change those conditions.  It would seem strange if we hated and tried to hurt a part of our own physical body, but I know this happens sometimes when for some reason a person hasn’t received love and has not learned to love themselves.  Could that lack of love also be a big part of the reason that people try to hurt other members of the body we call the human race?

Of course that is an oversimplification of the problems the world faces today, but I think a remedy starts with the realization that we are all part of one body and need to live our lives with that in mind.  We can’t change other people, but if we do our unique part, be the feet or the heart or the ears or the voice, the part we are uniquely suited for, and do it with love for the whole body, we are contributing to health and life and not disease and destruction.  It’s really our choice, but our choice affects everyone, including ourselves.

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