Looking at the partial quote of John Donne’s “No man is an island, entire of itself”, I find truth in the implied recognition that ‘Every man IS an island”. You just have to find out if and how you are connected to the neighboring pieces of land.
For in truth, each person is accountable for his or her self. That is not to say that people should be, or are selfish. However, it is saying that, in reality, after all is said and done,—you are accountable for you. To that end, each person has to make a decision on what he or she will choose to do when a situation turns critical. Some will choose to be a friend to the end; some will choose to look out for themselves. But regardless of what “they” have decided to do—the choice is and will be theirs to make.
I believe approaching life from this perspective will help you plan and manage your resources. It will also help you develop a realistic and healthy expectation of others. The Bible says two things that I believe are relevant. Micah 7:5 begins, “Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide”…; and John 15:13, which reads “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”.
In my opinion, these two scriptures sum up the nature of humanity. Which is, man has the capacity to do great and kind things… but don’t count on it. (smile) In sincerity, maybe it is not that blunt but, it does show that everyone still has to make choices concerning actions towards others. Being an island does not necessarily mean that you are alone—it does mean that you have to recognize self-awareness and responsibility.
Like an island, each person has his or her own set of resources, environment and weather pattern specific for them, which could become fragile and imbalanced if handled incorrectly. Therefore, people should respect the originality and uniqueness of others.
This realization of knowing that you are indeed an island, could free you to become your full and absolute potential. But, as mentioned in the beginning, you need to find out if and how you may be connected to neighboring Islands.
Because you are an Island, it is all the more important to know how you affect others and how other “Islands” affect you.
Maybe you are a small island, and the larger islands shield you from rough seas and surfs. Maybe you are a large island, and benefit from the extras produced by the smaller islands. In either case, you should see the positive effects, which will hopefully outweigh any negative effects produced in the association / relationship.
So, be an island. Take inventory of your resources and decide what you can offer and share with other islands around you.