“I am part of all that I have met.”
A frequently quoted line from Tennyson’s poem Ulysses would suggest that I too become a part of others—did I enhance or subtract from who the other could become?
Have we not all experienced the barbs that dismiss and judge, leaving our confidence and self-esteem in tatters? A veil of protection is drawn ever more tightly until all that is exposed is an imposter, a reflected image of the perpetrator. Becoming inauthentic, the unique gift of the individual self lies buried, handicapped and struggling to make the journey back to the light of their true essence.
The reverse scenario supports, encourages, guides and accepts or detaches if warranted, offering the freedom necessary for self-discovery — to create and become a light for others.
Polished clean in the context of Tennyson’s self-awareness , “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you” denotes a a serious responsibility with consequences one may never personally give witness too but may reverberate for generations and into distant places.
Every contact, every interaction takes on a need for conscious awareness of ourselves and our potential impact upon others.
The sin that haunts may be the knowledge of a failed awareness, a glance through the rearview mirror as to where we might have provided the lighthouse and the safe passage of another.