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"When I Was a Teenaged Transcendentalist" - continued

          My hour of worship complete, I breathed in the aroma of my beloved and asked her opinion of the natural morality of humanity. She quickly responded by saying that all human beings were divine in their own right from the day they were born, despite the outward semblance of evil. I could not help but agree with her belief, for I could not begin to fathom the idea of an innocent babe capable of malice. We lay there contemplating society and the progression of human civilization. Like a flash of lightning, I darted out the idea that all persons in this world were related and interconnected: all part of one universal brotherhood. Elizabeth pondered the thought for a moment and then was forced to agree, exclaiming that all living creatures were part of a single whole of nature.

          We started on another walk, but this was a relaxed stroll around the neighborhood in an attempt to appreciate all of the easily overlooked items in nature. A brightly colored blue-jay, singing its part in the symphony of the world, was the first to greet us. The bird's sense of satisfaction with itself and its song reminded me of the need for self-trust throughout life. The bird, like the man, learned to believe that it was an important part of the universe as a whole, and thus, never doubted itself. I felt a gentle tug at me sleeve as my love pointed me in the direction of a beautiful butterfly emerging for the first time from its cocoon. We watched in fascination at the power and will of this tiny creature as it independently freed itself from its confines to explore the new world around it. "This small insect," I thought, "represents the need for self-reliance in this world, as no one can survive by being entirely dependent on others." The butterfly floated away in an unsteady rhythm as it first grew accustomed to the new addition of its wings, but not before encircling us with the power of the cycle of life.

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