Sep 152013
 

I was re-visiting a 25 year old poem I wrote and was intrigued by how those words have, for me at least, stood the test of time.

 

The poem is called Two Things and begins:

 

Two things I have learnt in life, I wish we all could be.

To neither desire untold riches, or the dearth of poverty.

 

Who wouldn’t want to be rich? Yet, we’ve all heard stories of the “relatives” showing up as soon as someone comes into a great deal of money. For example, consider the instant millionaires created by government lotteries. I almost feel sorry for them. Now that they’re rich, they have a hard time measuring people’s true motives: are others interested in them or their money?

 

On the other hand, who can say that they want to live in abject poverty?

 

“With no loving in our souls and no money in our coats / You can’t say were satisfied” Angie by the Rolling Stones.

 

My father-in-law’s simple homespun philosophy was one that stated: a person can only put on one pair of pants at a time … can only eat three meals a day.

 

After that, they then have the opportunity to give back to others.

 

But rather to be content, with what’s right for us today.

And learn to share, in every possible way.

There’s a big difference between wants and needs; and when we really look at it, most of us want a great deal more than we need.

 

“Only a life lived for others, is the life worthwhile.”Albert Einstein

 

For who needs a God, when we have our hearts content?

Yet who do we blame when we can’t pay the rent?

 

I find that in times of trouble, it’s easy to be a believer. It’s when things in life are sailing along nicely that it’s harder to stay in touch. 

Photo by Anindya Chowdhury

Photo by Anindya Chowdhury

“Do you ever wonder just what God requires? / You think He’s just an errand boy to satisfy your wandering desires.” – When You Gonna Wake Up? by Bob Dylan

 

And both lead to vanity with the lies we say,

Where our lives are so dark by night or day.

When we have no purpose in our lives – except just to serve ourselves – we lose that light that is within us … that defines our humanity.

“You remember only about the brass ring/ You forget all about the golden rule”Gonna Change My Way of Thinking by Bob Dylan

But tomorrow’s a new day, and may it always be.

Thank God for that; it will set us free!

 

What’s your new day? Hopefully, it’s filled with second chances. Then what?

 

There are many reasons to justify our inactions, until we compare our situation to others – those, often with the least, who give more. Why? Perhaps they can better relate to the plight of others. Or, as Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist, Victor Frankl said, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”

Fred Parry

www.fredparry.ca       Sept 2013

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