While walking through the legume market one morning with my girlfriend, I realized that life was a lot like a vegetable garden. In order to maintain a garden, one must have resources, both natural and otherwise. First, one must have the wherewithal upon starting the garden to carry it out to the end. Next, one must have the materials; seeds, plowing and hoeing tools, good soil, a nice sunny spot, plenty of water. Finally, one must implement one's plan into action, making sure that when problems arise (bugs or birds eating the veggies, for example), one deals with them in a timely, patient manner.

The same sort of plan rings true for a human existence. First, a family, a new life, a start in the world. The parent's must have the wherewithal, just as in a garden, to nurture, feed, clothe, love their children. They must have the materials to do so; a house, a stable relationship, a job(s), good schools for their children, medical and dental, etc. They must have the patience to handle problems, as in a garden once again, that arise: a teen's first date, a little one falling from their tricycle, or even a major challenge, as in divorce.

Both a garden and a human life, have their cycles: birth, life, death. It starts over and over again, almost every second of the day and night. One plants a tomato vine, gives it the right kind of soil, the right place in the sun with some shade thrown in for good measure, waters it, watches it patiently. One day, it bears its fruit; red and ripe. The tomato becomes a part of a salad, a part of the whole. With humans, we are part of the whole as soon as we are born; we become one more in the census, one more breath, one more life. We grow, develop and become part of many teams; a second grade class, a staff at the workplace, Generation X, an American, a Californian, a book club member, ad infinitum.

This part of the whole, whether we see it or not, makes up a bigger and bigger demographic, spreading out, until it molds into just one classification: a resident of Earth. We are all residents of Earth. Whether we are poor, middle class, Indian, Republican, French, a baby, a cat, an elephant, a stream, a bird, we all inhabit the Earth. Since we all live on Earth, this big house we'll call it, wouldn't it be a good idea to try to take care of one another? If we see the Earth as one united element, can not we see ourselves a part of this myriad of combinations? Is it more practical to think one's self apart from one's neighbor or amongst? Will selfish behavior keep us from journey's end?

We are all apart of the grand scheme of things. There needn't be a name attached, or a methodology. But it's always nice to recognize the big picture. Take a deep breath. Step back for a second. Take in more than yourself today. Acknowledge that you may be a part of more than city, state, country, or continent. If you can, try to see one's self as a part of the big, wide, ever-expanding cosmos.

About Author / Additional Info: