This poem was originally posted on the tenth anniversary – 9/11/2011 – of the terrorist attack on the US on this date in 2001. We seem to be struggling and debating over the same issues, maybe even more than before. There feels to me to be even more of the so-called individual “me’s” in this world than the “we’s.”
I hope that you will find that this poem still resonates with you, and that you will stop to consider how much of your life is lived in the “me” mode, and how much in the “we.” I am forever irritated by politicians who always ask around election time, “Are you and your family better off than you were last year, last generation?, etc. To me the question should be are we, as the community, the nation, the world “village” better off than we were last year, last generation? etc.
Who are we?
This world, this nation, this city, this field, this me –
Are we a part of one another, pieces of the same puzzle?
Do we feel for one another and with one another?
Do we live in isolation, consumed by our own concerns?
Do we give and receive with grace?
Do we want to grow?
Do we seek for solutions?
Do we point out problems, and sit back?
Do we complain, or
Do we get busy?
Are we one of many?
Are we many of one?
Do we always look back, or
Do we tackle today while
Facing the future?
Hesitant or confident
Optimistic or resigned?
Pessimistic or hopeful?
Who are we, exactly?
Where are we going?
Do we exist?
Or are we but a rising, swelling tide
Who are we?
This world, this nation, this city, this field, this me?
Ten years have passed.
Are we seeking the same solutions –
In which nothing is solved.
Stubbornly clinging to emptiness
Insisting it be hailed as substance?
And are we yet alive?
Are we reaching out beyond our place?
Beyond our time, outside the familiar?
Will the wealth of me be offered
For the enough for we?
Can we be more than a collection of I?
Can we reshape the lessons of yesterday
Into a new design for living?
Would peace exist for me
If it did not for we?
Still the landscape burns –
Something is bartered for nothing;
Buildings tumble, life crumbles to dust;
Living becomes an oxymoron.
Will I expend my life elevating myself
By diminishing another?
Do I ever contemplate we before I?
Can we count if I do not?
This I have learned, and
This I know
When I become a part of we
The world turns upside down:
ME becomes WE.
Yet the nascent we
Still waits on me.
Dear Gentle Readers – Sometimes, to improve the living conditions of the desperately poor, it requires that the more wealthy of us (myself included), must be willing to give up some of our wealth for that to happen. That is the only way to insure that we all have enough. . .