“But for the grace of god there go I.”
This quote is largely attributed to John Bradford, an English reformer who lived in the 1500s.
Not being able to fully accredit the quote to him, I shall leave it blank.
No matter who spoke it, or whether we happen to believe in God, a god, gods, or not, the quote bears consideration as we consider the interconnectedness of all life.
We are all responsible for the outcome of our own lives, this is true, but there is no denying that certain lucky or unlucky hands are dealt to us through no fault nor merit of our own, and that these seemingly random consequences have tremendous control over the arc of our lives.
Nobody chooses to be born who they are. Some of us are born into lives of comfort and security while others are dealt into poverty and constant existential struggle, while others still die all to young through some tragic illness or event outside of our control.
Remember this when you see somebody suffering, that but for the grace of god that person could be you. You see a homeless person wearing tattered rags and begging for change. Don’t jump to conclusions about that person, they may very well be there through largely no fault of their own and perhaps even their continued existence is miraculous and a testament to their strength and resolve. Or maybe they are there because they made a string of bad choices that resulted in their current state. Who cares. The bottom line is that that person could easily be any one of us, and that we would do well to be mindful of this and to help those in need.
Think about this and spare a bit of compassion and empathy for others. The happiness of the world will prosper thusly.