My father once remarked, after dinner,
that for all the merry tales they had to tell,
for all their warm words, he doubted
whether his guests would help him if he fell.
Should he go broke, should he fall ill,
should he see the ominous stare of the end,
how many would show themselves to be a friend?
But as some years passed, his remark
lost its sadness, relevance, force.
It occurred to me it was way off course.
I once shouted, straight from the heart,
on a mountaintop: there was no lack;
the spirit of the words echoed back...
Life's not spiteful: smarter than smart,
it offers the bedrock of not being alone
when care and affection are shown.
What comes from the heart comes back to the heart.
I thought about this one, as it generated some controversy. Someone pointed out that the proposition in this poem is comforting, though untrue. I admit that those on whom one bestows kindness will not necessarily reciprocate, but given an open and generous heart, SOMEONE WILL COME. It just may be someone or some people one may not have anticipated. So the central question is NOT whether I'll be supported if I fall; rather, it's whether I myself am creating the conditions for people's support. If I'm not sure, then it's time to spread more kindness...