In Sri Lanka, when two strangers meet, they ask a series of questions that reveal family, ancestral village, and blood ties until they arrive at a common friend or relative. Then they say, Those are our people, so you are our people. It's a small place. Everyone knows everyone.But in America, there are no such namings; it is possible to slip and slide here. It is possible to get lost in the nameless multitudes. There are no ropes binding one, holding one to the earth. Unbound by place or name, one is aware that it is possible to drift out into the atmosphere and beyond that, into the solitary darkness where there is no oxygen.
At the different stages of recognition, reflection, and redress, practicing compassion provides potentially world-saving opportunities which otherwise likely would not exist.