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‘No story sits by itself’

July 10, 2011

‘No story sits by itself. Sometimes stories meet at corners and sometimes they cover one another completely like stones beneath a river’

‘That there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind’
(From ‘The Five People you Meet in Heaven’, Mitch Alborn)

Recently I read ‘The Five People you meet in Heaven’ and it’s underlying theme of how we as humans relate to each other is something I have believed in and thought about.

Simply put, it intricately suggests that we are not living on this planet as isolated ‘islands’ or individuals but are here as part of a large mass of humanity. We have our own unique story which enfolds with each different event, circumstance or new person that enters our life but it is not just ‘our’ story.

How many of us, live our life from the moment we’re born through to when we die without casting a thought about what other people will think, or who doesn’t base the decisions we make on how it will effect other people and can/does anyone live their lives ignorant and blinded to the people that shape and mould their characters on a daily basis?

No, because we share the stories we live, parts, elements and fragments of our stories are intertwined and linked with other people’s stories and lives.

If we left a visible trail of our time here there’d be millions of illuminous lines criss-crossing the globe setting it ablaze, as we move here and there and make contact with this person and the next. The nature of being human is that we have an effect on others and others have an effect on us, we are not here alone but together.

When I commit an action or say something or even write this, it knocks onto the next person, who takes a little something from it and passes it onto the next in a giant wave of dominos touching and transcending the space between the next.

We don’t stand alone but fall onto the next and so on and so on.  It’s most obvious with the ones we build close relationships with but still true of the simplest most fleeting interactions we have. The person you talk to each morning at the bus stop, the shop assistant you say thank you to, the person on the other end of the line listening to you as you make a customer complaint, for a second, a moment you have been a part of their life and so potentially could impact on it in some way you may never know about.

My mum has always told me that the greatest effects we have on people will more than likely not be known to us.

In the past I have tried to have meaningful conversations with friends and others, in which the aim has been to help them with something. Times, I look back on the conversation and wonder did I actually help, should I have said this, the ‘person’ seemed in the same down state as they did at the start of the conversation so was that conversation completely pointless?

But then I think about my mum’s advice and I honestly think there are no pointless conversations, at the time it may seem like my words were like water off a duck’s back but for all I know 5, 10 years down the line something I said then may ring true with that person and strike them and talk to them in a way that 5, 10 years earlier it never could have.

It’s equally true with passing comments and cutting remarks. There are too many times when I have mulled over, over-analysed and obsessed with what somebody has said to me, outlining the worst possible interpretation that I can when it was probably only meant as a joke or a throw away remark. It’s made me down or stressed or worried. If people’s comments have done this to me then I know some of the things I have said must have had the same negative effect on others. Yet I still make them.

So we are here together, sharing this world but half the time act as if we’re not, consumed with our own agenda because it’s human too. Yet, unpinning it all is our desire to share it with others, to feel that companionship and belonging, nobody, truly wants to feel ‘lonely’, we may want to be ‘alone’ sometimes but feeling ‘lonely’ we fight to avoid.

I loved the idea of ‘The Five People that you Meet in Heaven’, it suggests we are all significant and have a place in this world. It acknowledges that at times we really don’t understand why our lives happen that way and will often ask why it had to go down that line or follow that path. But it gives a sense that one day we will have the chance to understand it all completely and that this bizzare concept of life that we hold will be explained. It shows how much we impact on others and how the briefest word can have the longest effect.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 12, 2011 2:57 am

    Loved this post, and happy to be part of the “domino effect” you caused when you sent your words into the blogosphere. They've got me thinking. 🙂 I've never read The Five People You Meet in Heaven, but now I'm curious.

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