Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Tapping Into Social Conscience


Few people set out to deliberately hurt others. It’s just a sad fact of human nature that some  are so blinkered to any if not all home truths that it’s just the way they are; we can take it or leave it.

With several people who have played a significant part in my life, it took 20+ years before I finally decided to call it a day. Since being diagnosed with prostate cancer in February 2011, I have written off more fair weather friendships. 

There was a time I’d have been philosophical to the extent of being stoical and simply accepted the situation, telling myself I was being selfish and others had their own lives to lead and resuming the friendship once this or that crisis to which I had been subjected and they preferred to turn a blind eye had passed. Not any more though. Since I turned 60 (I am 70 now) I decided that enough is enough, and time is too precious to waste on such people. .

So why do I feel so guilty about it...?

It is easy enough to jump to wrong conclusions or fall prey to false impressions passed on and further distorted by gossips, hackers and the like. I guess we need to give people - especially family and friends - the benefit of any doubts...don't we?  It works both ways, though...doesn't it?

[Update 2/2016: I still feel much the same way if not more so. Having spent nearly eighteen months learning to walk again after smashing up my foot in a bad fall during the summer of 2014, I now know for sure who my real friends are. I was housebound for five months during which relatively few so-called friends could be bothered to even pick up a phone for a chat, which would have meant a lot. Oh, I haven't given up on all my fair weather friends, but our association is much the worse for wear and I will see to it that I spend far less time with them than in future.]

This poem is a kenning.

TAPPING INTO SOCIAL CONSCIENCE 

I’ve run the gauntlet
of love, life, fun, and tears,
trying to make the best
of things rather than complain
about the worst years,
struggling to rise above
the pain human beings
inflict upon each other time
and time again

I turn to nature
for comfort and brief respite
from a daily torture
humanity asks me to endure
with all the dignity
and stoicism of someone
always expected to put
other people’s needs before
his or her own

I lie awake at night
wondering who or what
is wrong or right
amongst all that’s been said
and done in the course
of whatever merry chase
mischievous Apollo
and outcast Cassiopeia care
to lead us on

Judged indifferent, even unkind...
by hackers 'profiling' humankind 


Copyright R. N. Taber 2011



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