Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Saturday, February 4, 2017


“Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection - or compassionate action.”
― Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

I might be wrong
I often am

But it seems as if we are getting smaller

There are voices out there appealing to our essential selfishness
Telling us that we need to think
Only of ourselves

Our sense of safety
Our affluence (or lack thereof)

We need, the voices murmur
Think of ourselves first

which translate really means
that we should think of ourselves

narrowing the world down to

Don’t what we need
Or rather what we want
Without regard
Without regard

For how our actions affect

Only “they” are real people
With hopes, and dreams
Fears and pain

Are those who need health insurance if they are to live
(or at least not go bankrupt)
“they” are children who may no longer
Have enough food
Or stable housing
Or a decent education

“they” are Syrian infants
Buried in the rubble after another air attack

“they” are old people who need
Care and companionship

If we cannot see past what we think will help "us"
to see what horrible things may happen, are happening
to the earth and "them",
that we might benefit

then we have lost our way

Jesus said the first shall be last
St Francis said that “it is in giving that we receive”

I believe that
I don’t always live it perfectly, but I believe it

I don’t want to be small
I don’t want my world to shrink
I want it to expand

And I don’t want my country to become small
I don’t want us to move to that place
Where we are narrow and selfish
Protecting ourselves, benefiting ourselves
While leaving others behind

I want us to care about our children, I do
But I think we best do that by carrying for the children of Syria
I want us to enjoy enough energy and affluence
But not if it means we destroy mother earth
And exploits other countries

We cannot give into to policies that might, maybe, perhaps
Benefit us
But are essentially selfish

We cannot let empathy and compassion die
In the end
Losing our way
And losing ourselves

At least that is how I see it
From where I stand!

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