A Year Nearly Donne: Reflections on the Family of Man

December 24, 2014 4:00 PM

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No man is an island, Entire of itself, Every man 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 thy friend's Or of thine own were: Any man's death diminishes me, Because I am involved in mankind, And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

No man -- no person -- is an island, much as the restive waves of daily strife may contrive to dissemble. We are social creatures at every level, from the restorative intimacy of a timely caress; to the practiced choreographies of culture; to the survival exigencies of brute biology. Other animals a...

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