No civilisation is formed without a sense of community. Other people are also antagonistic toward concepts about us, updating us on who we really are. In this process, they also often subvert our portrait—who we are not. To some extent, people also provide a certain repository of knowledge about us. This knowledge is not always complete or reliable, but it can be meaningful, which may constitute valuable fuel for an individual's growth. People are also sometimes mirrors in which we can view ourselves. Together, we all experience the mechanics of the circle of life, in which everyone is a vital link, a member of life. There is no randomness; one follows the other. In the web of interconnectedness, we learn from each other as well as develop our talents by sharing them with each other. So is the circle of life our philosophy of life, or is it a destiny, a network of mutual meanings, or maybe a legacy?

Circle of life and completeness

The meaning of life in society is strongly visible in the concept of the circle of life. In the book “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”, Yuval Noah Harari described the circle as the chain recalled by Mustafa in the famous Disney fairy tale 'The Lion King'. In this chain, there are certain connections where everyone plays a role, presenting dependencies in the aspect of interaction with each other. This is how an interchangeable relationship takes place, in which everyone occupies an important place. From the point of view of biological science, we could call this, at the lowest level of consciousness, the food chain. In terms of family psychology, we would call it a system in which we inherit and each member of the family strives for its homeostasis. Explaining it in simpler terms, each member of the family plays some kind of role that is a reflection of the family history. And so it comes to pass that someone repeats family stories, not only from a behavioural or genetic perspective but also in terms of the system as a family. The circle, striving for self-regulation and balance, calls upon its members to learn the lessons of the unworked. Thus, each member has the chance to stand up to himself and to life, 'doing his homework' as is possible. This is how I become complete—me and the family. Bert Hellinger, psychologist and founder of systemic settings, puts reflection in order with the following words:

The feeling of completeness occurs when I give everyone who belongs to the system a place in my heart. This is the right sense of completeness.

(Bert Hellinger "Orders of love, or being yourself and living your life")

In this circle of life, Simba was called to the role of the king, but despite many signs, he refused to accept his role for a long time. However, when faced with a crisis situation, he decided to take the throne because he was unable to escape his destiny.

Can we then call the circle of life a destiny? In this sense, it is rather a web of certain connections with members of a family or society. We already have a certain talent profile built into this network, so the question is whether we want to activate it. Or perhaps to remake it in our own way?

Human beings are part of the social fabric, where their potentials are often the basis for the growth of others and even for the development of civilisation. Turning away from one's social role, which may be connected with providing services or sharing talents (often inherited), is like cutting oneself off from the core of one's own resources. A human being as a whole is a creature with specific roots. We are not conditioned only by burdens but, above all, by resources—talents, skills, and competences—which can only truly shine through in social interaction. Such cooperations have been through centuries the basis for all barter and technological progress, the starting point of which has been mutual communication and drawing on heritage.

A collective legacy

When an individual shares their own talents, they leave behind a specific legacy. This can be not only the living members of the family but also any works of art, physical resources, or material testimonies of their own resources. This is how material as well as immaterial wealth is born.

The timeless cultural heritage of one individual, such as written books or recorded music left behind, can be an inspiration for subsequent generations. These seemingly innocuous works have the potential to become stepping stones to manifestos, movements, and even social revolutions. An example of this is John Lennon's song 'Imagine', which, with its intention of referring to the shadows of war, became the anthem of a new generation. Similarly, Michael Jackson's song 'They don't care about us' inspired a movement to restore the rights of black citizens.

We need other people to grow. So is there a social dimension to the development of sharing our own potential with our ancestral resources? Since the 'me' is my roots, the same 'me' is also connected term with the future of generations. So the self is the future. The circle of life invites the human being to appear not only in the area of doing ‘the homework’ of the past and continuing ancestral talents, but also in the aspect of inspiring future generations. ‘Me’ is worth more than a single individual. I am part of the whole. The self is others.


1 Harari, Y.N. orig. 21 lekcji na XXI wiek (21 Lessons for 21st Century). Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2018.
2 Hellinger, B. orig. Porządki miłości, czyli być sobą i żyć swoim życiem (The order of love, or being yourself and living your life). Warszawa: Czarna owca, 2018.