The Bell Tolls for Thee

This is not really a post, but just some verses that I came across.  

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each 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 thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

– John Donne

Can I see another’s woe,

And not be in sorrow too?

Can I see another’s grief,

And not seek for kind relief?

– William Blake

Can we learn to feel this way?

Or will our egos always hold us back, making us believe we are special- different from ‘ordinary’ people?

 ‘Their’ problems are not ours, ‘their’ sorrows do not affect us. Will the human race never change this way of viewing things?

What do you think? Is it possible?



  1. Its possible when people realize that what ever happens anywhere has a consequence to themselves. If they realize that what happened in Iraq can happen to themselves in the future. If they realize that police collecting undue fines from lorry drivers increases the value of their goods, including basic amenities.

    So, we are already in an interlinked world and what happens across the world can have consequences here.


    1. Yes, if people realize that whatever happens anywhere has a consequence to themselves, they will begin to think of what happens to others.

      Though I do like to hope that the sorrow of others will sadden us not just because of consequences to ourselves, but also because we empathize with others…


  2. There is this discussion on CNBC with DR. Devdutt Patnaik, there also a Shastrarth is going on for this only..will we ever change and how?


  3. Sometimes the atmosphere now, looks scary. Unless we join together and help each other, we will never survive. Will it happen in the near future?

    The poems are beautiful, Manju.


  4. You raise right questions. Sadly there are no ears that listen to such plaints! A truly well meaning post. There is one small personal objection though. You have quoted two exquisite masters of poetry. Either was sufficient.


  5. Hi!. Very appealing poem regarding humanity. Touched my heart. The message can change a person’s mindset to be social and humane.

    Thank you for sharing.


  6. No. The way it seems, man has indeed become selfish. It is only me, mine, myself. How will you explain all that is happening in the world today. All the scams, the wars.. ???
    PS – Like the new look of the blog.


    1. Oh yes, the human race has certainly become selfish in the extreme. We can only hope that we realize the folly of behaving in this way before it is too late.

      Thanks! I was bored with the old template of the blog, and thought I’d change it. 🙂


  7. Hi Manju
    I read that poem a long time ago and it meant very little to me back then, but my interest was rekindled the other day when someone read it out on the radio. I had to google it which led me to your blog.

    Thank you, I believe that if enough people start to realise that they are not alone in their thoughts and disgust at what we are doing to the world, let alone each other, that the small trickle will gather momentum and begin to flow then just like a cleansing shower of rain more will join to swell the tide of change

    Thanyou Manju.

    I am with you



    1. Ray, let us hope that this does happen- ‘just like a cleansing shower of rain more will join to swell the tide of change’.

      And welcome to the blog! 🙂


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