Monday, January 26, 2009

Can Humans Choose the Common Good?

When will human killing cease—
That primal mode of self defense,
That urge to challenge and prevail,
To crush the stranger, guard the home,
So one’s own gene pool may go on
To populate the earth?

From Cain’s first rock, and then the sword,
Then arrows piercing from afar,
Then guns and planes and bombs, and then
To missiles armed by atom’s might…
When will this ever end?

Mankind’s survival now depends on something new:
Not killing for defense, nor exacting pure revenge,
Nor fearful first preemptive strike;
Not competition, where winner takes all
And vanquished peoples are left to fall
Upon scarce resources, with no other choice
But to perish or to fight.

Or even worse, rogue nations armed with angry ideology
And tools of mass destruction,
Willing to destroy the world in suicidal sacrifice,
Not caring for their children or other living things,
Not seeing all creation as a sacred gift of life,
But blinded by ambition to inflict the greatest harm,
Cutting off nose to spite the face,
To risk the end of human race.
These sentiments cannot prevail!

Surely, collaboration and cooperation,
Governed by the rule of law
Provide an answer and a path
That yet may save us all.
For if we value freedom and if we value life,
We must soon find a way of ending human strife.
So women are respected and human rights protected,
And mercy tempers justice, which in turn is not neglected
And reasonable outcomes mark the path that is selected
And humans choose the common good,
The middle way,
In spirit of generous compromise
That all may live,
And let live,
And rejoice.

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