Musings at the new year
At the January Hoot, Fred Samuels read a poem that could serve as the basis for a New Year’s resolution for us all:
MUSINGS AT THE NEW YEAR
There are some things unknowable
to the human mind:
How did space get there?
Where did matter come from?
How could time begin?
It is honorable to admit ignorance
and arrogant to pretend knowledge.
Let it rest! There are things knowable:
How to comfort fellow mortals
as we travel our brief paths;
how to find happiness
within the grim limits of mortality.
Oh the answers are not easy to come by:
The struggle to understand is long and difficult,
for we can be so foolish, so unkind,
so closed to the cries for compassion
toward others and toward oneself.
─ Fred Samuels
Yes, as his faux musical epigraph indicates, Fred knows the poem is a little preachy, but it is a sermon well worth listening to and heeding. I especially like the closing line, since having compassion for ourselves is often the most difficult challenge and yet is necessary before we can offer true empathy and compassion to others.
– Harvey Shepard,
“Musings at the New Year,” copyright 2007 by Fred Samuels. Among Fred’s books are “Intense Experience: Social Psychology through Poetry” (Oyster River Press) and “Human Needs and Behavior” (Schenkman). His current book – coauthored with Joann Snow Duncanson – is “Breakfast in the Bathtub: A Book of Smiles” (Peter Randall Publisher).