Have you ever considered how every one of your actions impacts someone else? Did it ever occur to you that your decisions affect someone else somewhere down the road? If you are flying solo with no one but yourself to worry about then you probably see this as a rare occurrence; that how you are living your life is dramatically affecting someone else. But it does.

The old saying “no man is an island” is derived from a poem written by “English poet John Donne, writing in the 17th century, famously wrote that “no man is an island,” comparing people to countries, and arguing for the interconnectedness of all people with God.” He wrote this passage in 1623 while contemplating his death. “Donne compares suffering to gold, arguing that we can never have enough of our neighbors’ pain: “No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by it.” In other words: No one suffers alone, and being aware of another’s pain only makes us stronger and more able to live.”

‘No Man is an Island’

No man is an island entire of itself; every man

is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;

if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe

is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as

well as any manner of thy friends or of thine

own were; any man’s death diminishes me,

because I am involved in mankind.

And therefore never send to know for whom

the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.


By suffering with someone else, by having the empathy to feel someone else’s pain and go through a horrible experience with them, you also get to come out on the other side with them. I’ve often heard it said and, in fact said it myself, that people who go through the fire together share a certain bond. The “fire” could be a major illness, the death of a loved one, or some other major event or turning point in your life like a bank robbery or a plane crash. It’s something you shared with specific people and you endured it together. You held each other together piece by piece, thread by thread. When one was strong, the other was weak and vice versa. It’s the way of nature and the will of mankind that makes this so but it’s also the way of God. He never brings people together by accident. If you find yourself with a certain group of people, look around. There’s someone there who needs you or you need them. Whichever. God has you there for a purpose to fulfill for His Glory and to make you stronger; to teach you something for the next thing He has planned. We are all connected.