The Oak Life Journal
Jul | Aug 2021
From the Editor
By Cameron Talbot
Are we islands or are we soldiers?
“Watch out!” My wife and I were warned. “The second you choose to start your own organization, the other directors will see you as a threat.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.” We replied. “We all want the same thing!”
Are we islands that we should protect ourselves? Is each orphanage, each organization, an island to itself?
It’s a real question. I was naive to think the answers would come easily, even for myself.
The truth of it is, islands are deceptively beautiful. And if I’m being completely honest with you—
Maybe I prefer the island.
On my island, I get to search out the expanse of my boundaries alone—my organization. I get to gather the resources and use them all—my impact. I get to create my own regulations and decide if I’ve broken them—my structure. I can even damage the land if I please, (though it not be my intention), without repercussions—my discretion. And with easy, silent dismissal, I can barricade against those other organizations I don’t care for—my kingdom.
Am I the only one?
We do this, even without recognizing, because it sometimes feels easier. That other orphanage does things differently. That other organization is getting all the attention. Better we go our separate ways.
But…I want to make a significant difference in the world, not build a kingdom. So do you. That’s why we started, right? When did we trade humble beginnings for beachfront property?
Are we islands?
Or, maybe, are we soldiers?
Soldiers, with a common cause, rally around the imminent knowledge that an enemy must be conquered. Bonded as brothers and sisters through blood and war, they march side by side. Shoulder to shoulder they know, the enemy will not be brought down alone. They cannot forget this because they have seen the enemy, in the flesh, together.
Though each man and woman has their own story, personality, skill-set and creed, as soldiers they become one. They become one on purpose, because injustices of this magnitude do not just drown islands— Evils and injustices this great, if left unbattled, will swallow entire continents.
I cannot change the world, though my whole heart be in it, without you. This evil is not isolated to an island. It has swallowed entire continents. And so, we cannot fight the injustices of child trafficking, abandonment, and infant abuse alone.
Instead, we must ask for forgiveness where we have erred, stand shoulder to shoulder, and remember that we have seen the enemy, in the flesh, together.
Dear reader, forgive me for the times that I have barricaded against you. Though you think differently than me, might offend me, or see more success than me. My fight is not with you.
Because we are not islands.
Truly, we are battle-worn soldiers. And together, we will make an impact.