Friday, September 14, 2007

Power, Strength, Potential

This was from a 2006 The Blue Voice blog post. Sadly I cannot find the original page now, but I have the poem in its entirety in my inbox.

I spent my whole life
waiting for God to send me a invitation
while I ignored God who lived next door
I thought that God was out there
and not in here
I never knew that God had given us tools
to create heaven on Earth,
powerful tools like compassion, understanding,
humility and solidarity.
I never knew that God lived at the bus stop
or in a taxi cab
or in the kindness of a stranger on the street
or in the 7-11
I didn't know that God whispered to me
when I read about places like Darfur
and didn't realize that my prayers were ignored
because I had the power to answer them on my own.

This was forwarded to me from Mensch71 and was found on the blog Vagabondish. Evidently someone alerted him to this quote and it has been passed around a bit. Taken from Richard Bode's 'Beachcombing at Mirmar,'

I have a choice, the same choice that faces every man. I can live a frivolous life, trying to impress others with the house I live in, the clothes I wear, the car I drive. I can strive to be a success in the way of the world, seeking the admiration of others, reveling in their jealousy. I can seek domination over my family and fellow workers in a vain attempt to hide my own deficiencies. I can seek fame, which is the most elusive pursuit of all, for it has no substance and soon vanishes in the air.

I can indulge in endless prattle about my friends and neighbors, dissipating my life's energy a little at a time. I can wallow in self-pity, refusing to accept responsibility for my own circumstances. I can manipulate others into taking care of me, which is the way of all petty tyrants. I can complain about boredom, as if it were up to those around me to inject excitement into my day.

These are the patterns of the living dead, people who have forsaken life, who are willing to squander their most precious gift, because they refuse to face up to the reality of death. If they wanted to live, truly wanted to live, they would rise up in a resurrection of their own making and commit themselves to the life they have.

One definition of humanity is
the quality of being humane.

One definition of humane is
Characterized by kindness, mercy, or compassion

And yet the definition of human is
a bipedal primate mammal

We have the capacity to be so much more than merely a bipedal primate mammal. We have the power and the strength and the potential to evoke great changes not only in the world, but in our lives. If only we'd open our eyes to the needs that surround us, and tap one-tenth of the potential that burns inside us, oh my. What a different world this would be. We'd be so much more than human. We'd be humane.

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