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.