you will eat,
you will laugh at stupid things,
you will stay up all night just to see what it feels like,
you will fall painfully in love,
you will have babies of your own,
you will doubt and regret and yearn and keep a secret.
you will get old and decrepit,
and you will die,
exhausted from all that living.
that is when you get to die.
i wanted to skim over that night,
calcifying my shame into something blurry
like a rumor about a stranger.
i’m sorry, but i don’t want to be an emperor.
that’s not my business.
i don’t want to rule
i should like to help everyone–
we all want to help one another.
human beings are like that.
we want to live by each other’s happiness
not by each other’s misery.
we don’t want to hate and despise one another.
in this world there is room for everyone.
and the good earth is rich
and can provide for everyone.
the way of life can be free and beautiful,
but we have lost the way.
greed has poisoned men’s souls,
has barricaded the world with hate,
has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.
we have developed speed,
but we have shut ourselves in.
machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
has made us cynical.
hard and unkind.
we think too much
feel too little.
more than machinery
we need humanity.
more than cleverness
we need kindness
gentleness. … let us all unite
compassion asks us to look into our own hearts,
discover what gives us pain,
» and then refuse «
under any circumstance whatsoever,
to inflict that pain on anybody else.
:: karen armstrong