Home > Lessons for the Modern Man, Poems > A rare Saturday poem: “Earning; Deserving?”

A rare Saturday poem: “Earning; Deserving?”

I have been working hard in my dreams these nights. Each seems to be a struggle to get something done, to get out of some situation, to find my way through. I wonder if these dreams reflect something I am not doing during my waking hours. I wonder what I have left undone.

This wondering led me to the whole notion of doing, earning, deserving, etc. This concept of deserving is much in the news these days as we watch and wonder about the Kavanaugh nightmare. He seems to believe he has earned his nomination and deserves to be seated on the highest bench in the land. He seems to dismiss any debt that may be weighing him down.

The wondering led to today’s poem. What do any of us deserve in this life? Can we earn our way up and out? We are all privileged beyond all conception of earning or deserving. In Buddhist thought human beings are an exceeding rare opportunity in the cosmos. How can there be any other response to this but gratitude, compassion and love?

Earning; Deserving?

The Mayans say we come into this world
With tremendous debt.
We stand on the bones, the struggles, the sweat
Of all our ancestors through ten-thousand generations.

What have we done to deserve our first breath?
What can we do to earn the next?
To become a conscious being is an enormously rare gift;
There is no wage to earn our way out of this debt.

But there is a currency we can generate to return.
It is not enough, as small as a Widow’s Mite.
It is not quite nothing, yet more than we deserve;
Our coin is our conscious love.

We breathe in gratitude, awed at the magnitude of this debt.
We breathe out love, our two-bit return.
In these moments there is no earning, no deserving.
Love is the only gift we can freely accept and give.

 

 

 

©2018 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

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  1. Lilia Shoshanna Rae
    September 30, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Beautiful. Thank you. Love you.

    Lilia

  2. September 29, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    “In gratitude,our love”

    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

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