A verse by the Persian poet Saadi Shīrāzī is written in gold letters and adorns the pediment of the building of the UN headquarters in New York.
All human beings are members of one frame,
Since all, at first, from the same essence came.
When time afflicts a limb with pain,
The other limbs cannot at rest remain.
If thou feel not for other’s misery,
A human being is no name for thee.
“All human beings are members of one frame” is similar to what we say in the wisdom of Kabbalah, that we—all of humanity—are a single soul, wholly connected “as one man with one heart.” This soul is called “Adam HaRishon” (Heb. “First Man”) in Kabbalah, a state where we are completely connected like cells and organs in an organism.
Our perception of separation and detachment comes from our egoism. We emerge from “the first essence,” as the text writes, which is our common nature, the desire to receive that we all emerge from.
Likewise, we can interpret, “When time afflicts a limb with pain, the other limbs cannot at rest remain,” that even if one part of our body is affected by egoism—the desire to enjoy for self-benefit alone—then our whole body gets sick, similar to how a cancerous cell acts in a human body.
We can say about humanity today that it is all affected by egoism, and this is actually good. What is good about it? It is that it is very close to the full recognition of egoism as an evil quality that negatively affects us all. There is a saying that the diagnosis of an illness is half of its cure, and accordingly the recognition of us being affected by egoism, feeling it like a cancerous tumor that sickens us and brings detriment to our lives, leads us to seek its cure.
Similar to how an illness in one part of the body affects the whole body, likewise the correction we need to make is one that spans the whole of humanity. It is insufficient for only a part of humanity to heal; it must be global today, since we are a globally-integrated humanity.