We’re all connected. That means you affect me, I affect you, we affect them, and they affect us. In fact, in the truest sense, there is no them—only us.

Late in his remarkable novel, All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren offers this compelling metaphor of our interconnectedness:

. . . the world is like an enormous spider web and if you touch it, however lightly, at any point, the vibration ripples to the remotest perimeter and the drowsy spider feels the tingle. . . It does not matter whether or not you meant to brush the web of things (p. 260)

Whether we know it or not, we’re always sending ripples of influence across the web of things. Because we endlessly affect the world around us, our choices and actions matter far more than we usually realize. Even in the smallest things, if we live from love, rather than from fear, we make the world more compassionate and welcoming. If see and treat each other, and all people, as sisters and brothers, rather than as strangers and enemies, we send waves of understanding and peace across the web of things.

Like it or not, we’re connected. Earth is our shared home; we breathe the same air; and we all look to the sun for light and warmth. Our choice is not whether we will be together, but the kind of world we will have. We’ll either be stuck together by fear or knit together by love.