My best friend S. sent out a message among his friends about his reaction to the discovery of Carlie Brucia’s body. He was deeply affected by it and struggling to explain why this tragedy, more than any other, touched him so profoundly. He summed up his feelings about it by quoting John Donne:
Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises?
but who takes off his eye from a comet when that breaks out?
Who bends not his ear to any bell which upon any occasion rings?
but who can remove it from that bell which is passing a piece of himself out of this world?
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.
How is something so simple, so self-evident, so easily forgotten?