In my youth I read this poem by John Donne and it had a profound impact on my life and even though I didn’t know it then on my sense of belonging. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s in Dallas as a child of parents of different races I was the lone minority in my school. But as long as you have family, friends and a community you can never truly be alone.
Here is the poem:
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.