Do No Forget.
snippets of time
Jumbled, shattered images
dance across my vision
pedaling furiously on my bike
wind against my face and body
hands grip warm handlebars.
Jumbled, crumpled images
strewn across my mind
footprint in the snow
water trickles down throat
pressure of a hand on my shoulder
Jumbled, tattered images
tumble through my heart
lips upturned in a smile
fingers massaging my back
arms encircle me in embrace.
Poetry comes and goes with the flow of time and space.
This world in which we live is quite harsh and cruel and to deny this is to fail to see the reality that surrounds us. In my life, I have striven to see the good in people and the situations in which I find myself; however, there are times when finding the good in someone or something is near impossible. Too much pain and suffering, alienation and discrimination – sometimes no matter how hard I try to be optimistic, the good is nowhere to be found. My hope is crushed, and I am faced with grim reality: empathy is not highly valued. It is rare to find anyone who is truly empathetic, and sometimes it is a great challenge to find people who are not self-centered, seeking only new ways to further their own pleasure and ambition.
Even now, I still believe that the only true way to live one’s life is to live a life of love. To not do so, is to live a self-centered and sour life, where empathy is scarce and life ceases to have meaning.
“The greatest act of love is to die for one’s friend.” ~ Jesus Christ
As a child, I sought to understand those words.
As a teenager, I tried hard to live those words.
As an adult, I continue to try to live those words.
On a trip with a friend to the mountains, I lived those words. Our mutual friend had stepped in a frozen lake, experiencing great pain and dangerous cold. As I warmed her feet with my hand warmers and a sports bra from my other friend, I looked at my own feet. The warm mountain socks had kept my feet warm and safe despite the drifts of snow and the fact snow had fallen into my sneakers. I took off those socks without hesitation and had her wear them. We headed down toward safety, and the snow continued to slide into my shoes, but this time my feet ached from the cold. I began to lose feeling in my toes. My friends stopped me and forced me to sit down. She gave me back my socks, and all of us made it down the mountain without losing any toes.
What lesson did we all learn that day? Empathy.
We cared for one another, showed love through our actions by helping one another through a dangerous situation, and we survived because we worked together and shared what we had. A rare but potent moment – one none of us will ever forget. I hope that the lesson we learned – the lesson of empathy stays with us through life, despite the grim reality that surrounds us daily.
This is the one truth we cannot forget. The true meaning of life: Empathy and love. Without both, life becomes nothing more than a self-centered and harsh exploitation of others, where the end result is a never-ending search for more. Love and empathy grounds us and keeps us from being consumed by the search for more fun, more money, more exploitation. Sadly enough, our world doesn’t have enough love or empathy; therefore, suffering is rampant.
What else is there to say?