A Quest for Compassion

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When the powerful gather and circle their wagons to reshape the narrative in pursuit of their own desires,

How do you respond?

Are you rendered powerless?

Do you become passive and accepting?

Do you fall into deep despair?

Or do you rise up in anger?

Are you fueled by fury?

Flushed with frustration?

Or do you seek a third way?

Where is your compelling counter-narrative?

The heavy dose of compassion?

  The goal of sustained transformation? 

The answers are elusive

But not impossible

They lie not in the hatred

or disdain

or deliberate hurt

 of the other

But in our ability to meet at the crossroads

And arrive at an understanding

A cognizant contemplation of the far-reaching consequences

Born of our self-righteous and selfish actions


Day 7. This poem would not be possible if not for the inspiration of a morning walk. I listened to two podcasts by Rob Bell. He surely gave me some of the words today, most especially “the coherent counter-narrative”.  I am grateful always for his calming, wise and humorous perspective! Thank you also to Emily with whom I spoke at length yesterday in a small moment of despair. Among other things, she mentioned Sally Kohn and her TedTalk on emotional correctness. I watched it and am sharing it with you as well.


9 thoughts on “A Quest for Compassion

  1. I really like your poem. You made me stop and think. I’ve been trying to process events in Syria without much success. I remember reading an article a few years ago that explained routes for possible oil pipelines that ran through Syria from further south. The Russians want to go one way – the Americans another. Both stand to gain from seeing their preferred option up and running.
    Then I think of those images forever burned in my brain of little children dying because of the Saran attack. My heart aches with the horror of it.
    I’m not sure what my counter narrative is but I am so glad you asked the question. Compassion yes but for me I think it’s ultimately to do with sustained transformation.

    1. Thank you for your insightful response as well. Oil is the common denominator in all of these now endless wars. Lost lives are part of the equation. Compassion, empathy and any other positive and loving human qualities never enter in to any of these decisions. Common people are pawns in the system in the quest for dominant world power. For me, it is profoundly sad and -more so than ever-gut wrenching. I, too, am not sure of my counter narrative yet. As with you, I believe it is all about sustained transformation. Getting there is the hard part, especially with the challenges we face and the outrageous steps backward that are happening here.

      1. We could talk about this stuff for hours. Your insights are very clear. I agree about sustained transformation but, as you can see in my last post, I think it starts with the individual and it’s an inner process. Yes, I agree – many of us are waking up. I think, in a way, the chaos in the outer world is a trigger for that but I also feel much of the impetus comes from within. Not everyone is feeling it but more and more are beginning to question the status quo. btw. the Australian Govt is doing it’s usual thing – following America and running after your President – no matter which side of the fence he happens to stand on – like puppets they bend whichever way the puppet master decides. Great that you’re blogging again. 🙂

      2. Thank you! It’s been a while. I’ve taken some time adjusting to my new life in a new state which is vastly different from the where I spent my entire life. I found it difficult to write for a long time. And no kidding-we could definitely talk for hours!

      3. It would be a big transition. I’ve been finding writing doesn’t come as easy as it used to these days. I tend to make blog posts out of collections of haiku I wrote some time ago. Sometimes I write a new haiku but longer pieces don’t flow like they used to. I think it’s something to do with the times we are living in. We are betwixt and between the old and the new. Sometimes it’s hard to get a handle on exactly what the new is.

      4. So true. I am both adjusting to and resisting the tropical climate a lack of real seasons here among other cultural shifts. With time, I have been able to find my niche and some amazing people.

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