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Help wanted. Inquire within.

For Memorial Day, I am taking a holiday, so I went back and adapted an email from 10/1/2018, as apt now as ever:

From time to time, we all need help. It might be help with homework, help managing an intimately personal challenge, or help understanding another's point of view. But the first step to getting help is to ask for it. And asking for help requires us, first -- above all else -- to inquire within.

John Donne wrote in a meditation almost 400 years 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 bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

Donne understood that none of us stands alone. We are all interconnected. Our lives may seem very individual. Certainly we live in times where the emphasis is on our separateness, our individuality, our exceptionalism. But we are not as different as we believe. Donne's meditation reminds us that "...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde." In other words, we are in this together.

It is more important now than I can ever remember in my life that we inquire within. If we shine a light on our own internal inquiry, we must recognize the fundamental similarities we share. We all experience fear and unhappiness. We all experience doubt and discomfort. We must all see that what diminishes one of us diminishes all of us.

We all need help. Have no fear. Inquire within. Recognize your connection with all humanity.

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