Friday, July 20, 2007

No Man is an Island

Recently I was inspired by this section from The Hidden Art of Homemaking in which Edith Schaefer describes our responsibilities as individuals. She explains that we are each an environment and we as "art forms" influence our surroundings and those around us merely just by being.

"But the idea of 'The Environment' brings other thoughts. After all we are an art form. I do not mean that we produce art consciously now, but I mean we are an art form, whether we think of it or not, and whether we do anything about it or not. We are an environment, each one of us. We are an environment for the other people with whom we live, the people with whom we work, the people with whom we communicate. And in this sense we do not choose an art form and create something in that form; we are an art form. People who come across us or who walk into our presence, become involved. There are various art forms we may or may not have talent for, may or may not have time for, and we may or may not be able to express ourselves in, but we ought to consider this fact -- that whether we choose to be an environment or not, we are. We produce an environment other people have to live in. The effect on them is something they cannot avoid. We should have thoughtfulness concerning our responsibility in this area. But it is an amazing thought that we are the art form God can use in this area of environment to involve others who come into our presence. Our conversations, attitudes, behaviour, response or lack or response, hardness or compassion, our love or selfishness, joy or dullness, our demonstrated trust and faith or our continual despondency, our concern for others or our self pity -- all these things make an difference to the people who have to live in our 'environment'. Enthusiasm and excitement infect other people..."

I was challenged to reflect further on this profound thought. What kind of environment am I creating daily for those around me, in my home and outside of my home? Is it one of chaos or one of peace? That of a party or more of a battlefield? How might I improve my environment?

Often times, as adults, we are guilty of reverting back to our childish ways and so throw our temper tantrum or sulk thus stirring up quite a tornadic environment. We must be reminded that we have a choice in how we respond to life's conundrums. It is in our responses that we foster our environment. We must always be aware that we are an environment -- no man is an island of and unto himself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i loved her book..... e