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  • Start Where You Are

    Start Where You Are

    world peace, she says, begins at home
    with how I treat my brother
    no hope to love an unknown face
    when disrespecting mother
    or father, son, or daughter (those
    most close at hand for serving)
    a hectic life, no thought for them,

    it really is unnerving
    to think that I could pass right by
    without a care or worry
    the ones who may await my smile
    and diss them, in my hurry
    to bold proclaim compassion’s aim
    in favor of a stranger

    without a care for closest, I
    may stumbled into danger
    misplacing those God sent me, clear,
    for care and understanding
    to capture ‘feel-good’ fantasy
    (quite often less demanding)
    such high ideals to labor for

    my own backyard neglected
    are strangers easier to love
    (as some have long suspected)?
    has proven, true, a messy view
    of home-fires, clearly smoldered?
    perhaps I’d burn a better lot
    with focus rightly shouldered?

    all this to say, I’ve thought today
    in full reflection knowing
    world-peace, she says, within our grasp
    if family I be showing
    example of the humblest love
    then, by His will, renewing
    each branch to world in need of love

    right-ordered, in the doing



    Our son gave us a book for Christmas, "Do Something Beautiful for God - The Essential Teachings of Mother Teresa". It's got daily meditations of her sayings. The quote for Jan. 5th was this:
    "Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world."
    I thought on that awhile. It fits better in some seasons of my life than others, but it makes logical sense to start with yourself, and those closest to you (family) if you want to influence the world for peace. The above poem rose from that reflection. I hope you enjoy it.

  • #2
    I enjoyed it a good mantra well put in your poem

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    • #3
      Wonderful. We were given the same book at Christmas mass. My own son, who used to follow world events and agendas, soon decided to ignore those in favor of living to affect his immediate circle. Truly important!

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      • #4
        Thank you both for your kind comments.

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        • #5
          This is beautiful. I almost want to comment that I wish everyone could read this!,
          but I think maybe the main part of the message is to keep my eyes inward and worry about practicing kindness myself instead of focusing on others behavior.

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          • #6
            Thanks LG...it's likely a both/and. I constantly struggle with a desire to disengage because the rhetoric has become unthinking, unreasoned, cruel, undeserved, and unproductive. We have to stay engaged at a level we can manage...perhaps even beyond what we think we are capable of...but both my late parents and my mother-in-law (still among us at 93) liked to say "charity begins at home". They have never steered me wrong, so I take it as good advice.

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            • #7
              I hate being reminded that some of the most awful thoughts I've ever put into words were used to hurt the people closest to me. You can't take that stuff back once it's out there, but these days I do tend the home fires with much more care - and that seems to me to make everything else in my life better.

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