No Man is an Island
The church is catholic, universal, so all her actions; all that she does belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that body which is my head too, and ingrafted into that body whereof I am a member. And when she buries a man, that action concerns me: all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to one another....The full text of this Devotion XII is here online.
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 sea, Europe is no less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of a friend's or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefor never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Labels: John Donne