“Senseless slaughter of the innocent
In the land of life and liberty
A country of brotherly love
A melting pot of diversity and acceptance
Murder wreaks havoc in the land of plenty
Lives taken at the blink of an eye
An eye once looking far and forward
To achieving the American Dream
Violence is winning while
Young boys and innocent girls are losing
No longer free to pursue goals
Cheated by an early fate of death
The cruel sacrifice a mother makes
Losing her innocent lamb
Off to school, to the corner store,
A playground, or to a movie theater
My heart bleeds tears of sorrow
As I hear the latest news
Of another slain victim
Sacrificed, again, as violence lives on.”
~ JLE 2013
“Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness–life’s painful aspect–softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose–you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.” ~ Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
“By landslide vote
we drive the old year out,
motions of no confidence.
It had been granted an entire year
to fulfil its promise, only to renege
on its mandate, plague the world
sadistically with tribulation.
The new year’s manifesto
is progressive, forward looking.
Now we may turn a fresh leaf,
happy that winter’s recession
will give way to steady growth,
longer, balmier, user-friendly days.
We take to the streets:
rabid supporters of the New Year
party, cheering its inauguration,
determined to renew its mandate
annually from now on.
Let the midnight countdown begin.
High time the bells chimed
with our boisterous rejoicing,
lent ringing endorsement
to our future prospects,
while last year’s absolute ruler
is banished: Disgraced.
Outdated. Past it. History.”
– Dennis O’Driscoll’s Update: Poems 2011–2
“People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”
~ Kent M. Keith, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council
“When we are angry at mankind
Or rave at some depravity of mind
When we would curse behavior of a kind
To argue, rather than to view benign
It is with our own self we battle wage
When choosing not to understand, nor to engage
With that from which we isolate our self
With anger sent, to where, perhaps is needed help
Lest fearful, reason may just find the time
With tenderness, to enter in our mind.
And so it is perhaps from loss of our own face
We are so quick to shout of their disgrace
But we should not lose sight of our own sins
Though, in different colours dressed, appear they in
For is not all, of nature in this life?
The good, the bad, together, love, and strife
As nature, this is how such things will be
So it is not how loud we shout, but what we see
And seeing do, to help, to liberate
To free with tolerance, not shut the gate
How it should be”
~ Egal Bohen