Follow kindness


The hardest part is people.

The hardest part is people.
So Lord, help me face them
without rancor or disappointment.
Help me see the pain behind their actions
rather than the malice;
the suffering rather than the rage.

And in myself, as I struggle
with the vise of my own desire –
give me strength to quiet my heart,
to quicken my empathy, to act
in gratitude rather than need.

Remind me that the peace I find
in the slow track of seasons
or an uncurling fern frond,
is married to the despair I feel
in the face of nuclear war.

Remind me that each small bird shares atoms
with anthrax, with tetanus, with acid rain,
that each time I close my heart
to another, I add to the darkness;
Help me always follow kindness.

Let this be my prayer.

Karen Holden