“Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world.”

Over on The Interdependence Project, Ethan Nichtern noted the fact that today is the anniversary of the death of both Chogyam Trunpa Rinpoche and Dr. Martin Luther King. Chogyam Trungpa was a Tibetan Buddhist who started the Shambhala movement to teach and promote meditation. I don’t think Dr. King needs an introduction.

To mark the occasion, Ethan published a quote by both men. What leapt out at me was the quote from Dr. King, that I would otherwise expect to come from the Buddhist, with its emphasis on interdependence.

It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality. Did you ever stop to think that you can’t leave for your job in the morning without being dependent on most of the world? You get up in the morning and go to the bathroom and reach over for the sponge, and that’s handed to you by a Pacific islander. You reach for a bar of soap, and that’s given to you at the hands of a Frenchman. And then you go into the kitchen to drink your coffee for the morning, and that’s poured into your cup by a South American. And maybe you want tea: that’s poured into your cup by a Chinese. Or maybe you’re desirous of having cocoa for breakfast, and that’s poured into your cup by a West African. And then you reach over for your toast, and that’s given to you at the hands of an English-speaking farmer, not to mention the baker. And before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality