Creeds

by Eric Chaet

Some people adopt the creed of their parents, tribe, or class
& it serves them advantageously—
so, whether it’s based on truth or on obscuring distasteful truth
& whatever its effect on others
they don’t question it—
they get plenty of what they want
til they’re defeated or disappointed, or die.

Others find their parents’, tribe’s, or class’s creed
unhelpful & oppressive
& struggle to get free of it.

Some never manage to get free—it’s common—
they break out, they relapse, they aren’t strong enough.

Some manage to get free
but then must cope with others
of their own & other families, tribes, classes
without a creed, & without others’ support—
they must piece together what they believe is so, is not so
& what to do, & what to refrain from doing—
there are advertisements, temptations, laws, & expectations
in-coming from all directions—
their disturbance is chronic, it saps their strength.

There’s no one to fool or convince—
your beliefs are based on what is so, or they aren’t—
they function effectively, or they don’t—
they are adequate to your situation, or they aren’t.

If you can’t decide, you can’t rest or operate efficiently
while others struggle to incorporate & use or hoard what you need
even to persevere, let alone to thrive—
to fulfill your potential
to fulfill your realistic or unrealistic hopes & dreams—
to be of any real use to yourself or to others—
to care for yourself in your current situation
& at your present level of personal evolution—
to fight off parasites & predators—
to embrace those who encounter you with love & without claims—
to enjoy your life—
to make real progress at least for yourself
maybe for others, too—
to lead, or at least not to burden those whose leading is no pose—
who manage to give
more of what’s really valuable than they take, a while—
it’s a thrill for them, but that’s no expense to you—
to cooperate with others, for mutual advantage
without victimizing anyone.

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