Once a retired teacher invited many of her former students for her 60th birthday tea party. Approximately 60 of them gathered at her home to celebrate the occasion. The teacher arranged the tea cups, which were varied in condition — some were new and artistic, while others showed signs of wear, and a few had broken handles. Without any distinction, she poured tea into each cup and requested her guests to select the one they preferred.
As is often the case, those who went first chose the good-looking cups, while the rest were left with the worn-out ones. The teacher took this opportunity to impart a valuable lesson: “Most of us chose the most visually appealing cups. Few stopped to consider that every cup contained the same delicious sweet tea. Therefore, my young friends, it’s important to realise that the same divine essence and godly goodness dwells within all of us.”
The teacher’s wisdom, acquired through years of teaching, teaches us an important lesson, echoing John Donne’s words, “No man is an island”. Each of us is an integral part of one divine reality. Our external bodies, with their diverse forms and colours, resemble the different cups holding the tea. At the end of life, just as a cup breaks, our bodies will perish, and our inner essence will merge into the vast web of divine essence.
A spiritual master once asked his disciples: “When can we say it is morning?” Despite various attempts, the master found that his disciples’ answers were incorrect. Finally, he declared, “It is morning when the darkness in a person’s heart is dismissed by the light of understanding others as one’s brothers and sisters.”
As we commemorate World Citizens’ Day on 19 November, it serves as a reminder to dispel the darkness caused by divisive factors and strive for a dawn where we all recognise each other as members of one human family. It is we humans who have established geographical boundaries, demographic borders, and secular divisions to serve our personal interests. Therefore, we fail to realise that we are drops of a vast ocean and are deeply connected to every living thing on this planet.
The article, Global Connectivity: Redefining World Citizen Day, in this issue of TTT, underscores how the digital world is weaving us into a global fabric. Yet, beyond this technological interconnectedness, we must undergo a transformation of attitude that allows us to overlook racial, intellectual, or economic disparities and see all as members of one global family. Numerous initiatives, such as the U.N., the World Cup and the Olympic Games, are contributing to this vision. Let us all focus and aim at building a world where each person cares for the happiness and welfare of others.
Vincent Carmel is the Chief Editor of The Teenager Today. He brings with him years of experience in working with young people. He was actively involved with the Indore-based Universal Solidarity Movement (USM) for over three years. A great lover of the North East, he was the Director of the North East Social Communications (NESCOM), organising motivational programmes for the youth of the region.