--by John Templeton (Jul 07, 2003)
There is a scene in the marvelous movie Lost Horizons, in which a group of travelers become stranded in the Himalayas. They are met miraculously by a guide who provides them with warm clothing. The guide then leads the group on a journey that he describes as "not particularly far, but quite difficult." As the travelers trek up the steep, icy footpaths, they are all linked together by a long, well-knotted rope. This is done so that if one of them begins to slip towards the abyss, the combined strength of his fellow travelers would save him.
If we pause to review our lives, perhaps occasions may be recalled when we felt "stranded," lonely, or isolated -- standing apart from others. We may have yearned for the company of a friend, or someone with whom to share our thoughts. And all the while, helping hands may have contributed loving, positive energy, in perhaps unexpected ways, to provide assistance or companionship.
The statement "You cannot be lonely if you help the lonely" speaks a great truth. If we aspire to serve others and make a useful contribution to humanity, is not the first step taken by letting go of any self-pity, fear, doubt, or loneliness? Loving service may result from directing our attention from self to others. For how could we assist another until we release our own feelings of loneliness?
We were not designed to stand alone as an isolated and independent creation, but rather to blend and interact with manifested life. A coursing stream of currents of dynamic energy flows within us, accounting for our vital processes, urges, impulses, thoughts, emotions, dreams and visions.
--Sir John Templeton