Tag Archives: compassion

A Drop in the Bucket

His Holiness came
to visit the Big Easy:
a mixed race culture.

He spoke to thousands:
they lined up for hours to hear
his message of peace.

His smiling face shone
on all those who assembled;
what great energy!

Practice compassion,
be kind and giving to all:
we are all the same.

After it was done,
the throng of rich, white faces
sought the French Quarter.

While poor, black people
(still the large part of New Orleans)
went about their day.

Five hundred thousand:
the dollars raised for this trip.
That’s a chunk of change.

20 MAY 2013

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The Art of Happiness

The question was, “How can I be
more compassionate; how can my
efforts to be compassionate
be more effective?”

His answer, politically careful,
was that it was an individual
question; that each person’s
contribution was different,
that one’s answer was not
necessarily another’s.

Before he spoke, under my breath,
I said, “the answer
is: just start.”
If you spend all your days
in thought,
about whether you’re wasting time
or if your “talents”
could best serve
some other way,
you’ve missed the point.

The object will not ever be
to change the world,
but change yourself.
It does not matter the reward
if what you do you know is right.
One need not over-complicate
the matter; just begin,
and do not worry on
the end effect, the bottom line,
the dividend, spiritual gain.

Just do it. Start
by smiling. Now,
right here, where
you are at.

And just keep at it.
Never stop.

20 MAY 2013

for the His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama

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But It Ain’t

If this were a Christian country
by Jehovah’s rules,
there’d be much more compassion
and glad suffering of fools,
less hands out full of gimme
with mouths full of much obliged,
no clear advantage to the rich,
less chance of a free ride.

There’d be a lot less hoarding,
much less emphasis on fame;
the suffering of even one
would bring all others shame.
Equality would be the rule,
and bigots would be shunned;
there’d be no race for riches,
nor a need for all these guns.

An even-handed justice would
inform our politics;
and none would need to worry,
from the ghettos to the sticks
on whether their best interests
by the corporate lust was served;
the good and kind would be rewarded,
just as they deserve.

At least, that’s the great theory,
but in practice, I’m afraid
that we have used religion
to create this world we’ve made.
We’d be a Christian country,
but we’re quite afraid of saints;
so holier-than-thous, be thankful
that Christian it ain’t.

05 MAY 2006

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Feast During Famine

When Obiwan Kenobi felt the end of Alderaan
it was as if a hole appeared and swallowed, to a man,
the lifeforce of each precious soul existing ’til that time
and twisted, perhaps frayed, the cord of which we form a line

I wonder, when tsunamis hit, when earthquakes take their toll,
how many sense the devastation wrought, and still console
themselves that these are unknown folk of far and distance lands
and do not feel the spike that drives itself in others’ hands

In retrospect, we call it karma, God’s will, or bad luck;
but are we all so ignorant, fresh off the turnip truck,
that we must have some writing on the wall to comprehend
or find a mystic omen first, and then assist a friend?

The world is what the world is, whether nature’s realm, or God’s;
but sadly, we each feel so distant from it, and at odds
with every notion that connects us to each living thing,
and every song that all life forms but us have learned to sing.

The lost, the dead, the wounded? These poor souls have passed the test.
There but for the grace of some God, we think, we live and have been blessed;
but blessed not with just life, but opportunity to grow
and prove our faith in something is of substance, not just show.

How can we ease the suffering? How can we stop the pain?
How can we more control the world so it won’t hurt again?
A better question, one that might serve better those who grieve:
How long ’til each of us becomes what we say we believe?

30 DEC 2004

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Yule Log 2004

The times when goodwill, peace and love
are praised are rare indeed;
and rarer still those instances
when thought translates to deed.

So in such seasons where these things
are found, take heart, rejoice,
and with compassion, grace and honor
add your hands and voice.

It matters not whose holiday
was borrowed, changed or nicked;
but just that at this time of year,
the bubble has been pricked

that splits us up in separate lives
and robs us of the sense
that we are all part of the whole
lifeforce experience.

So wassail, carol, hymn and jig;
let yuletide spirit reign —
for sadly, it may be a year
before it comes again.

25 DEC 2004

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Compassion

There are still some strange people in this world
who demonstrate compassion for others,
based not on a need for recognition
or because some reward has been promised;

An act of compassion is not a task
completed to meet some kindness quota,
it is understanding another’s pain
and lessening it some by sharing it.

How can a selfless act, worth more than coin
be encouraged by an act of Congress
or a pay scale for rewarding good deeds?

A faith-based program must be its own end:
belief that doing the right thing is right;
else it is not faith-based, it is a job.

29 JAN 2003

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