the whole is greater than the sum of the parts

the whole is greater than the sum of the parts

The yellow and brown leaves are blowing across the floor of the high elevation desert now.  No, not the leaves from the evergreen forests in the soon to be snow capped, granite mountains.  These leaves are from the trees planted in the yards of people’s homes.  As well, there are different stars in the night time sky this time of year.



My thoughts today are of all those who make a contribution to our lives and to our economy and to our culture.  Do we take all these individuals and their sacrifices, their work and their efforts for granted?  Our lives would be far poorer, and less bright without them.

It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round.  (We are not including here those who engage in destructive actions.  We are talking about constructive individuals.  Whether you believe in the law of Karma, or in the judgement of individual souls after bodily death, people who work evil and cause harm have much to answer for.)

We step out of our homes in the morning and do we see how we have been impacted by the efforts of others?  The effects are all around us!  We run to catch the bus or street car.  The sidewalk we are racing across is the product of human labor.  As we hurry along, we notice that the garbage men have already picked up our garbage and trash.  We reach the bus just as it is about to leave the stop, and the bus driver waits the extra second or two so we can board the bus for work.  The bus starts up as we take our seats or find a place to stand. The bus itself is the product of many hands and much coordinated effort.  As well, the fuel it runs on was taken out of the ground or sea bed hundreds if not thousands of miles away.

But wait, we need to back up.  The morning coffee or tea we drank at breakfast was/is the product of those who work in the coffee or tea fields in far off countries, and all those who transported the product along the way to our grocery stores, and of the efforts of the men and women who manage the various business enterprises involved in production, transportation, distribution, etc.  (Someone put together the alarm clock that woke us.)

While on the bus, we hear a beautiful song emanating from another rider’s portable radio or cassette player.  The sounds of the song cheer us up.  How many persons were involved in that song being there for us at that moment?  There was a song writer(s), a musical band to perform it, a crew in the studio to record it, people who distributed it, a radio station with employees to play it, etc.

We exit the bus within walking distance of the office where we work.  We see a corner flower vendor and suddenly remember it is a friend’s birthday.  We stop and buy some flowers for that friend in the office.  Again, many hands were involved in getting those fresh flowers to that street corner vendor so that we could easily buy them and take them with us into the office.

Shortly after, we are turning our computer on at our desk.  The reliable electric power for the office machines we are dependent upon is the work of many.  Coal miners have been underground to procure the fuel for the power plants.  Utility workers have worked to build and maintain the electric transmissions lines that move that electric power from the power house to our homes, businesses, offices, factories, etc.

Okay, you see what I am trying to get at.

So much of what we see, hear, touch, taste and smell each and every day has a component of human effort in it.  Our greatest resource is human talent and creativity.

In my heart, I feel much gratitude to all those who have touched my life.  It is humbling. Most of the people I will never know.  I thank those who stock the grocery store shelves, those that cut hair, the seamstresses, those that make music and art, those that construct homes and buildings, those who mine coal or work on oil rigs, those who drive trucks and work in the merchant marine or on the railroads, those in the armed forces, the sales clerks, the ones who pave the roads, the teachers, the nurses, the secretaries, the managers, the ones who pickup the garbage, etc., etc., etc.

There is human dignity in all these occupations.  We need the road paving crews every bit as much as we need the chief executives.

Let’s stop fighting with one another and recognize and appreciate the contribution that all decent people have made and continue to make to our society through their efforts, talents, abilities and sacrifices.  We have more in common as human beings than we have differences.  Let us not be divided by those who exploit our differences for their gains.  Let’s make our interactions with others a “WIN-WIN” play.

It ought not be “US vs THEM”.  It really ought to be “WE”.

Just food for thought.

We could not find an easy link for Jack McDuff’s lovely and enchanting song, Primavera, from the 1981 album, Kisses.  So, we offer Sue Raney’s version of Happy Madness from the 1980s.  This song may have originally been performed by Frank Sinatra.

Here is the link:

Thanks for reading.  Best wishes to all!

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