#compassion

ALL THE OTHERS

After listening to his final lesson 

the wise one was approached by a young woman and young man…

“We have a question.” they asked softly. 

He nodded, 

“I will answer it if I can.”

 

“We’ve listened to all your teachings.” They said

“We’ve taken them to heart.

You’ve taught us about beauty 

about friendship, love and art.” 

 

“You’ve taught us about acceptance and compassion

about how to have an open mind.

You’ve taught us about peace, 

about wisdom.

You’ve taught us to be kind.”

 

“We’ve listened and we’ve learned.” they said

“We’ve held on to your every breath.

Yet of all the subjects you have taught…

Yet you never speak of death?”

 

Their teacher looked at them and smiled, 

touched their shoulders 

then began to speak…

“Death eventually finds us.” he said…

“All the others…

 

we must seek.”



LIGHTS FOR LIBERTY

Last night we attended a vigil…it was entitled Lights for Liberty

It was set up to protest the treatment of immigrants 

who have come to America to be safe, to be happy…to be free.

 

I’m sad to admit when we were about to leave we looked out in our back yard

and for a moment thought about not going…it was raining a little too hard.

 

We thought about not going to this protest…

protesting centers where children’s basic needs are not being met

because it was too windy…

to rainy…

We thought of not going…because we might get a little too wet!

 

And it made me wonder have we become too jaded

has treating people this way become so much the norm

that when given the chance to stand up and fight

we might not go…because of a little storm?

 

We live in a wonderful country 

where our freedom is constantly on display

but it’s up to those of us who are free here

to keep fighting to keep it this way…

 

To raise our voices in protest

To light a candle for the whole world to see

To stand up and not sit down again 

until everyone in this country is free.

 

So we ventured out in spite of the rain

we sang songs, lit our candles too

and we added our voices to the voices of others

speaking for the ones…no one is listening to.

 

And now that the candle has been lit

may we never again let complacency make us forget what this protest is about!

And my we never again let a little rain…

or the inhumane policies of our government

douse that flame 

 

or blow our candle out.


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FOOTPRINTS INTHE SAND (2)

A morning stroll along the beach, just the two of us, walking hand in hand

when I found myself enchanted by all the footprints in the sand.

 

It was beautiful how the sun met the water and the water met the land

but I felt myself mesmerized by all those footprints in the sand.

 

They came in all shapes and sizes…they were everywhere I scanned…

an endless overlap of footprints…blending together in the sand

 

I had no way of knowing…if it was a woman or a man

If they were made by someone young or old…these footprints in the sand.

 

Was their skin black or white or yellow…red, or pink or tanned?

could not be determined from these footprints in the sand.

 

What was their religion?  Were they from here or some other land?

These I could not ascertain from mere footprints in the sand.

 

Were they single…or was their partner a woman or a man?

Information not to be discovered from footprints in the sand..

 

And I wondered if we judged people only by their footprints in the sand

would we still have prejudice and bigotry…

would people still be ridiculed or banned?

 

Would hatred still flow as easily across our seas and land…

or would we find a way to blend together…

 

like footprints in the sand?


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THEY COME SEEKING ASYLUM

What we’re doing as a country is wrong, it’s inhuman and it is cruel

I refer everyone to their religious texts…look up the Golden Rule…

 

It’s not a matter of can we help…it hasn’t been…from the start

It is a matter of how we help…it’s a matter of the heart:

 

 

They come seeking asylum to a country not their own

They come seeking asylum…sometimes they come alone

 

Sometimes their parents bring them…fleeing conflict, war and and strife

Sometimes they send their children ahead…hoping for a better life.

 

They come seeking asylum…but our country is divided

Some of us think we should help…others think we are misguided.

 

So we stop them at our border…accusing them of sins

and we tell them to their faces…we’re afraid to let you in.

 

And sometimes we take their children from them…and sometimes their children cry

And six times since we’ve started this…six times…children die.

 

They come seeking humanity…they’d love a place to live

They come seeking humanity…is that too much to give?

 

They come seeking compassion…once our border they have crossed

But they are looking for a feeling…I fear America has lost.

 

They come seeking asylum…but our country is divided

 

It certainly makes you wonder…which side is misguided.


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FINAL THOUGHTS ON Mother's Day

FINAL THOUGHTS ON MOTHER’S DAY

 

We marched on Mother’s Day to protest children being held in detention centers

In a country we think has gone awry

We marched for children being treated as prisons

We marched to ask the question…Why?

 

We marched for children who were not welcomed here

Instead…in glorified cages we hide them away

Where they sit confused and sad and lonely

separated from their mothers…on Mother’s Day.

 

Or any day for that matter…

and it makes my heart go numb

remembering how proud I once was of my country…

and seeing what we’ve become.

 

Where once a mighty woman with a torch

shone her light for the world to see

we once welcomed anyone into our country

anyone yearning to be free…

 

As we made our peaceful march

carrying signs pleading for children to be free

I saw mothers with their families in restaurants,

enjoying the park…even climbing in old Banyon trees.

 

And I couldn’t help thinking about those other children…

the ones our country has hidden away…

In a detention center here in Florida

separated from their mothers…on Mother’s Day.

 

It’s true that mighty woman is still standing

but now I’m filled with doubt…

for I believe if you look closely

her torch light has gone out.

 

But I won’t give up on it ever shining again

I won’t surrender…I won’t quit

with a little acceptance and compassion

 

her light can be relit.

 

 

 

BEING HUMAN

There are places in this world where seldom a day goes by 

where someone doesn’t weep.

Where the night rings out in gunshots…

and no one 

ever 

soundly sleeps.

 

Where, if you look and listen closely 

no children can be found

because where they used to play and run and laugh 

is now a battleground.

 

There are people in this world…

too many to count its sad to say

Who, if they don’t hear a bomb go off in 24 hours…

they say it’s a good day.

 

There are people living in constant fear…

who only want that fear to cease

who have given up everything they own 

for a chance to live in peace.

 

Who have been forced to leave their land…

where their neighborhoods and schools were burned

leaving the only home they’ve ever known…

never knowing if they’ll return.

 

Who go on a harrowing journey…

wondering will they live…

will they be sold…

and if they survive this arduous odyssey…

not knowing what their future holds.

 

Have you ever thought about their plight?

How their life has been forcibly redesigned….

How whatever joy they feel at being given a new life

Is mixed with sadness for the life they left behind? 

 

There are people in the world…

who only want a chance to grow 

to learn

and to be free

Men 

and women 

and children….

human beings…

like you and me.

 

There are other human beings who for whatever reason, 

hatred, 

bigotry 

or fear

refuse to acknowledge these other humans…

who scream…

You are not welcome here!

 

Who ignore their pleas for help, 

their heartache 

and their pain…

which makes wonder 

when did being human…

 

become so inhumane?


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A SIMPLE QUESTION

We see pictures of hungry, sad and poor people in the world…

and we question…how can this be?

We wait and hope someone will help them

perhaps their friends or family…

 

After all…If a member of our family or a friend was hungry

we would gladly share our food.

If their heart was broken or they were sad…

we would try to soothe their mood.

 

If a member of our family or a friend needed money

we would find a way to share

If they needed shoes to cover their feet…

we would gladly give them a pair.

 

If a member of our family or a friend had no home

we would try to ease their pain.
We would want to keep them safe and warm

we would offer them shelter from the rain. 

 

But…if we believe everyone is our brother or our sister

then doesn’t that make everyone we see…

every person in the world

a member of our family?

 

So instead of questioning how can this be

and waiting for someone else to help the hungry, sad and poor

Shouldn’t the more appropriate question be

 

What are we waiting for?


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IT COULD NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN

This is a story mixed with sadness…a story of inhumanity

It’s story mixed with madness…a story of brutality

 

It’s a story of people who didn’t look like US

who could not understand

how we wanted them to go away

how we wanted them off of ‘our’ land..

 

How we were willing to push them aside

to our own honor and dignity betray..

How we were willing to turn our backs…

and force them to go away.

 

How we were willing to allow their children

to be stripped from their parents’ arms.

How we were willing in the name of America

to cause such lasting harm….

 

Of course I’m taking about Native Americans and American Japanese

who endured America’s fear and bigotry and atrocities such as these…

 

But this all happened long ago, you say!

Give America a break!

We are a different country now!

We have learned from our mistakes! 

 

That was a less civilized…less enlightened America, you say

We have changed a lot since then.

There’s no way in America today…

 

this could ever happen again!


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HOW DO WE MEASURE UP?

The true measure of the greatness of a person, 

a town, 

a city, 

a country…

a people

is not in the fortunes we amass…

not in caring solely about ourselves

 

No

 

hopefully 

we will find…

before we are deceased…

the true measure of the greatness of a person

a town,

a city,

a country,

a people…

is in how we treat those less fortunate than us…

 

those who have the least.