There is the old saying “No man is an island”. Personally I like islands, so although I get the gist of what John Donne was trying to convey through that line in his Devotions I want to tell him his line doesn’t bother me so much.
I would like to take a moment here and bastardize that poetic statement with this revision: No man (or woman… this ain’t the 17th century) is a party. See, with the image of an island, I imagine one basking somewhere between the dotted latitudes of Cancer and Capricorn, sipping on some fruity beverage likely spiked with the devil’s sweat, one’s palm serving as a pillow and sighing “Ahh… this is the life!” But sitting solo chugging from a red Solo cup with a lampshade for a crown is not a party, it is an indication of a twelve step program potentially on the horizon.
Hope and inspiration are twins separated at birth. We need these siblings to come pay us a visit when we are feeling despondent and lost. Feeling hopeless and uninspired are solitary acts, and it is more often than not that our own light has become so dim that we cannot see it to be moved by it. We need to look outside ourselves for our inspiration. We need to allow the infectious ebullience of the celebration of others to touch our joy trigger. When we see others in exuberance we can find a source of inspiration. When we are inspired we rediscover the sense of hope that had faded to a struggling ember inside us.
Hope springs from the celebration of a community. It is the cheer of a thousand voices rising to call us forth to indulge in the ecstasy of living. It’s the light of the candle of every heart reaching every other heart that illuminates the world. Hiding in our own darkness desperately fanning the fading wick will not do the trick.
Few things are more inspiring than a sky filled with countless stars twinkling down upon us. A single star standing alone in an immense black sky… come on, you have to admit that it would be rather underwhelming.