by Eric Chaet

What I present to humanity must be generous
else it’s part of the problem, not of the solution.

I see that I have slipped into the usual nursing of grudges.

If I wait til I’m treated decently by everyone
I’ll never deliver what I have to give
that will help those
who don’t take from whoever can’t prevent it
& who must find ways to survive & thrive
& likewise deliver, generously.

My generosity must not be based on pretending that
there is less cruelty & obliviousness than there is—
but, still, it must be generous—
else what I present to humanity
will be part of the problem, not of the solution.

And why shouldn’t I be generous
however much or often strangers
or people who should know me by now
slight me, or take advantage of me, or slander me
or demonstrate in what little regard they hold me?

Haven’t I been created & loosed into a world
however much that world isn’t made to my specifications?

Isn’t the cosmos mine, my galaxy, my solar system
my planet with its atmosphere, waters, minerals
its plants & animals, its kind, humble humans
& the occasional great & kind acts of prodigies—
Beethoven’s symphonies & Woody Guthrie’s songs
steel, furnaces, wheels, pistons & cylinders, plumbing
Chaplin’s pantomimes, Coltrane’s sax explorations
Tom Paine’s courage, & Gandhi’s
the organizational genius of McCormick, Edison, Bezos
the discoveries of Newton, Gauss, Mendel, Mendeleev
Matthew’s Gospel, the I Ching, the Tao Te Ching?

Haven’t I been, some times, nurtured & loved?
Don’t I, some times, grow, & thrill to the momentum?

Haven’t I awakened to another day
surrounded by miracles at every scale in all directions—
& with the opportunity of improving the situation?


Also posted at Dear Dirty America (USA)

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