Good People

The world’s people are good people.

Take that as your proverb; love them

for their goodness and their comedy.

 

Many of them may be thoughtless people

—insensitive, we unfairly suppose. And yet

what obliges them to consider you

in their reckonings? They mean well,

though they may seem fickle.

 

Few are truly spiteful; and these we must pity,

for they have an illness called sadism:

they like to hurt you. Yet even

they were prudent people, once. But,

seduced and possessed by the devil,

they have come to embrace awareness

of their own and others’ sin.

 

Not one of us lacks fault.

The devil comes in many forms;

and to freely make motion in your sins

is to gratify his wicked pleasures.

By responding to the circumstances

in which he places you in a bitter way,

you are giving him artless success

in his infiltration of the world’s people.

The goodness which has previously

prevailed will be destroyed;

and as a voluntary trader of evil, how

can you justly hope for happiness?

 

You may be the only Bible

some of the world’s people will ever read.

Live as you would wish every person to live;

for you will have an influence

through untiring goodness

that you will not have by spawning

those bitter blossoms which you think are so pretty.

 

You are driven to nothing through others’ faults.

There is choice through every action

—if you be in possession of your wits—

and so do not be so swift to condemn your fellows.

It is not your role to pass judgement;

it is your role to love the world’s people

and help them to love you in return.

 

If, by chance, you discover yourself

in a situation which is not a doing of your own,

blame not the world’s people. They do not know

what soreness they have caused you

—and you should not remind them.

Ceaseless condemnation and sullenness

will repulse them where they were willing to help.

They wanted the best, even though

they obeyed the devil’s commands.

 

The world’s people are changeable people;

they believe where they will

and contradict where they may.

But you must be steady in the brunt

of opposing winds; they will respect you.

 

Strange people are the world’s people!

Their foolishness is comedy;

their failure is tragic.

Jest though they will,

this ambivalent riddle of humanity

must be let and buried

till doomsday’s saviour comes to unearth our souls.

 

Through love alone may we perceive our answers.

The End

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