OM Feature (6)

Are we connected?

Separation is an illusion; we are part of a very special and connected ecosystem. By James Adam

Are we really separate individuals? Separate from one another? Could we stand on our own two feet without ever requiring support? Or do we form part of something much bigger – difficult to describe using the written word?

I suggest the latter and here’s why.

Let’s take a look at something simple – our morning routine. Most of us start the day by climbing out of bed. Some may proceed to grab a hot shower, others may reach straight for the coffee machine.

Regardless of your routine, it’s in this particular moment when we begin to connect with a much bigger network of people and events. Shower clicks on, hot water follows. Who provides the water and heat? How about the electricity for your coffee maker?


Our morning routine would not be possible without the efforts of others. Without their skills and contributions, we simply could not have a shower, nor gaze out of the window sipping our favourite cappuccino. Even the coffee beans are cultivated by people in different parts of the world.

We are inseparable from everything and everyone. Waves cannot be separated from the ocean, nor can raindrops cease to form puddles. Even our own bodies are made of atoms – just like everything else in the universe.

Here’s a fictitious example to show just how connected we are:

Lisa is walking down the street and is pickpocketed by a group of teenagers. She sustains serious injuries from stumbling to the ground and is admitted to the hospital. Lisa is instantly recognised by her colleagues as she is employed as a head nurse at the same hospital. The recent shortage of nurses and Lisa’s absence of leadership have critically impacted the running of the ward where she works. 

The very next day, George, one of the teenagers who pickpocketed Lisa falls off his skateboard and sustains a broken arm. He is taken to hospital and coincidently is assigned to the ward that Lisa usually works on. Because of the staff shortages and absence of Lisa’s leadership, it takes 8 hours to find George a bed and a further 8 to see a doctor. George experiences lots of discomfort during the wait and frequently rings his parents with tears rolling down his eyes.

George then overhears a group of nurses talking about why their head nurse is not at work today. “Just minding her own business, she was pickpocketed and assaulted by a group of teenagers in the street! If only those teenagers knew how many people Lisa helps in a day!”

Suddenly it hits George like a bolt of lightning. He is one of the teenagers who pickpocketed the lady – now revealed to be the head nurse of the ward he is on. He even remembered pushing her to the ground. He was the reason Lisa could not tend to her patients – including himself. 

George learns a very big lesson that day. Never harm another person, for it may impact your life in ways that you could never imagine. He also realises that kindness has the very same effect. By being kind to others, we invite kindness back into our own lives. 

Not all circumstances will play out in such a clear, karmic way. But there is no denying just how much our actions impact the lives of others. As with George, they have the power to impact ourselves too. They fly right back at us – like a boomerang racing through the air.

If we were not connected, would this really be possible? Wouldn’t we just stay immune to the consequences of our actions?

It soon becomes clear that separation is an illusion. We are, and always will be a part of a very special and connected ecosystem. Therefore, why would we ever seek to hurt another? Hurting others creates hurt for ourselves. It may not be obvious at first, but as with George and his skateboard incident, we may one day require the help of someone who we previously wronged.

You never know who you may need in your life. That is why we should never hurt anyone. Be kind to others to receive kindness back.

James Adams

Student of life