On a visit to St. Stephen’s Basilica Cathedral in Budapest, I found myself pondering some large questions: Why do we still go to war? Why do men abuse women and children? As I stood looking at the beauty in that place, I found an answer that made sense to me.
What came to me was perhaps obvious: that just as day and night, feast and famine, hot and cold are on a continuum, so are our capacities as human beings to be free to choose to be creative and/or destructive . In that cathedral, created with such passion, there were exquisite carvings and paintings depicting both beauty and images of soldiers, swords and other instruments of war. We are capable of every extreme of feeling, together with the imagination and ability to act upon it or not. The more power, strength and potency that we gain as human beings, some people will act with grace, generosity and creativity and others will act in a way that is mean, corrupt and destructive. Realistically, we all have some of both and certainly as I get older these two extremes seem less clear. Sometimes we may think we are being honorable but can be driven by ego and sometimes we may make real mistakes that teach us and aid us to jump forward on our journey towards enlightenment. However, we are certainly helped on our way if we can temper our power, strength and potency with love, humility and wisdom which is easier to do if we have had an experience of ‘plenty’ and a loving family life. This poem grew out of these questions.
What It Begins With:
It begins with the welcome given to a baby;
the nurturing given to a child;
that spirit of love held in a family;
the friendship bonding a community;
a feeling of belonging to a country;
having a connection to the World.
There needs to be enough
for that baby and this world
to grow straight.
Then again, I have been humbled by the clients I have worked with who experience extreme deprivation and abuse and yet still choose to become creative, wise, loving, generous human beings, full of grace. How does that happen?