“A RISING TIDE LIFTS ALL BOATS”
Perhaps you’ve heard the expression: “A rising tide lifts all boats”? It comes up in a number of contexts, from religious, to spiritual, to economic. In this edition of Soul Notes, we take heed in the idea that what serves one, serves all.
The phrase “a rising tide lifts all boats” is one made famous in a speech by John F. Kennedy. He didn’t coin the phrase, although it is sometimes attributed to him. There are various accounts of it being earlier adopted and used as a motto by a number of organizations dating as far back as the early 1900s. Most notably, it is believed to have its true origins among fishermen who likely handed it down as folklore throughout the United States’ northeastern seaboard.
In political spheres, the phrase often pertains to economic proposals designed to serve the greater good of all. It’s reminiscent of Alexandre Dumas’ clarion call in his now-classic The Three Musketeers: “All for one and one for all; united we stand divided we fall.” Interestingly enough, both phrases, while putting the emphasis on the rising, also suggest the falling.
Steeped in a particularly polarizing presidential election cycle in the United States, I find myself as I write this, drawn into deep reflection with regard to both sides of this equation.
It’s almost as if we as voters are on a cantilever, with all of us subject to sliding right off!
What struck me as swiftly as a ray of light was this:
~ What serves one, serves all.
And with equal veracity…
~ What disserves one, disserves all.
I realize it’s not entirely that simple. There are indeed levels of gradation between and among persons, politics, economics and policies – in theory, and more importantly, in action and in how those actions play themselves out. There are ripple effects from the middle as well as from along the sides. It is at the extremes, however, where we find the starkest contrast and I would suggest, the opportunity to see with the most focused clarity. Perhaps that is what this election affords us. It may be its most saving grace.
Rising with the tide, not against it
I’ve stood on many a shoreline, getting in boats, and getting out of boats. The water is in motion, as are the boats as they float and bob, hither and thither, as we attempt to provide a steady hand to the boat and each other. Gently timed with the ever changing tide, I’ve coordinated with others to ensure the tide lifts the boat and us along with it. It helps to work synergistically with each other, and all the while honoring and respecting the natural flow of the tides. Doing it that way facilitates the embarking on our voyage as we head off and away from land’s end. Equally as beautifully, oneness and unity helps get us back onto terra firma in much the same fashion.
Shall we rise?
Rising with the tide in our daily lives: What does that mean for each of us? It starts with awareness, followed by concerted action. Together, in harmony with each other and with nature, we rise more effortlessly and for the benefit of all. Perhaps an election year blesses us with that opportunity: to bring that awareness to the forefront and into our hearts. It highlights an opportunity to make heartfelt decisions from a place of a greater appreciation for all. May we make our choices from that place.
United we stand; united we fall.
Musings for an election cycle, and
on this new moon.
For your consideration:
As a gentle reminder, I leave you with these words, from Yogi Bhajan:
“If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.”
Okay, your turn:
What does rising (or falling) together, all at the same time, mean to you? Is it valuable to us as individuals? As a collective?
I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!