27 March 2008

Old but Relevant Quote

I recall reading Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" on my first deployment and the quote on the first page provided some insight into why we do things that doesn't necessarily benefit ourselves. The rationale being service to others is what makes humanity different than the rest of the animal kingdom. I thought of it last night before drifting off to sleep and thought I should share. Make of it what you want. It's from John Donne from long long ago:

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 if a manor of thy friend's 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 bells tolls; it tolls for thee.


Anonymous said...

Just as there is no need of a church roof over my head to allow me to say a prayer for you, there is no need to stand next to you to bring you to mind.

(Don't know who said it, but I copied it down a long time ago. Echoes my feelings for a lot of people.)
Stay safe, sir.

Bag Blog said...

Interesting thoughts from both you and Kath. Here is my two cents: A church is not a building. It is a body. A body is made up of many members each functioning in different capacities to make a whole. Such is life.

Alex said...

Dude, freaky. I just bought that book yesterday, and if you were asleep at three in the morning, I was reading that passage as you were counting sheep. What are the odds?


themorethingschange... said...

Hey LT,sir!

Glad to see you're still secure in spite of the news of increasing danger in the Green Zone.

Thought I'd lob a little respect your way ... John Donne! Dude! The very name brings back memories of boring afternoons in British Lit 101. And boring evenings when the John Donne assignment wasn't nearly as interesting as Native Son or the Invisible Man.

Humm, that didn't sound much like respect did it. :) You're gonna have to take the respect part on faith.

Here's the thing - like all self-respecting English majors I've kept all my books -- well, ok, British Lit books were in the garage -- but the point is I'm thinking I should give them another shot.

"...modern poetry begins with John Donne, for it was to him that British and American poets turned in the 1920's for a new direction."

Uh-ohh...his poems, his sermons .. I think I'm done...no pun intended.


LT Nixon said...

Thanks all! I didn't know much about John Donne, but now I do.