Knowing and Doing – part 2
Matter is composed of atoms separated by empty space through which the atoms move. Atoms are solid, homogeneous, indivisible, and unchangeable. All apparent changes in matter result from changes in the groupings of atoms. There are different kinds of atoms that differ in size and shape. The properties of matter reflect the properties of the atoms the matter contains.
The above paragraph contains the five basic principles of atoms proposed by Leucippus and Democritus in the fifth century BCE. We may not think much about atoms but we should. There are, after all, the basic building blocks of all matter, of all that our senses perceive. There are ninety naturally occurring types of atoms and scientists have created another twenty-five in laboratory settings. As the smallest units of ordinary matter, atoms represent much of what we consider to be life. They still are a subject of debate, however.
Water is a perfect example of the confusion around atoms. After all, we walk through air every day and yet, it seems unified. The individual atoms do not feel as raindrops on our skin. Even the rain is a mystery of sorts. Water would appear to be continuous. In fact, all matter seems continuous. We drink water every day and yet, we cannot divide it into nothing-ness. Try this experience. Fill a glass with eight ounces of water. Divide that into two glasses of four, then two more glasses of two, etc. While the water matter is finite we never reach a point at which we cannot continue to divide it.
If all life is composed of atoms which create matter which seemingly is continuous, how do we explain death? Not just the death of beings but the death of projects, the death of ideas, the death of desire for such things as extraordinary living? The knowing of the continuity of atoms is a far cry from the doing that which creates the continuity.
My volunteering is an example of separate people moving through empty space. Each of us who will volunteer becomes living, breathing human-size entities of atoms moving through the need or void of helpers. We are individuals from differing backgrounds, often with different income levels and certainly with different faith philosophies. We become rule one and two of Leucippus’ theory of atoms.
The work of volunteers often creates opportunity where none existed. The grouping of volunteers and their fulfilling the assigned tasks create changes in the function of the organization for which they are volunteering, usually creating greater usefulness and extraordinary outcomes that would not be possible of not for the volunteers. This is rule three.
I will be present at this training with people who will not be my exact size, nor have my skill set. My life is extraordinary in that it is unique to me. No one else has lived my life. Siblings grow up in the same house, attend the same schools and might even go into the same career but they each respond in their own individual manner to life. No two volunteers will be the same. This follows rule 4.
We are volunteering for an event to be held later this month and we each will work in various locations throughout the venue. I already know I will be working with children but some will register people while others will be guides, ticket masters, chaperones…the list is extensive. Most of us will be wearing costumes while others will be in regular dress. Our appearance might assist us in our duties but they will not hinder our effectiveness. What will do that is the energy and effort we put into our duties. The outcome of the event will, in part, reflect what we have contributed. This is rule 5.
We often forget that we are not only living on this planet, we are a part of it. We create its future with each action we undertake. Knowing is important and I was selected for the duties I will assist with because of my past knowledge and experience. However, that skill set would be useless if I did not put it into action. That knowledge would serve no purpose in the continuity of matter if it was not utilized.
We create extraordinary living when we live, fully and for not only ourselves but for others. We enhance our own living by realizing that we should not fear those who are different but embrace them as being part of the whole that makes us strong. We know that water is not in an endless supply and yet, we cannot fully divide that glass of water into oblivion. The two components, hydrogen and oxygen work in harmony. Perhaps if man worked together in such harmony with love and knowledge, nothing could truly divide us into oblivion.