we’re human beings


 

A rat race

is for rats. We’re not rats.

We’re human beings. Reject the insidious

pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties

to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence

in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of

self promotion and self advancement. This is how it

starts and, before you know where you are,

you’re a fully paid up member

of the rat pack. The price

is too high.

 

Jimmy Reid

 

the moral fighting shape


 

We

have lost the

power even of imagining what

the ancient idealization of poverty could

have meant: the liberation from material attachments,

the unbribed soul, the manlier indifference, the paying our way

by what we are or do and not by what we have, the right to

fling away our life at any moment irresponsibly—

the more athletic trim, in short,

the moral fighting

shape.

 

William James

 

praise the mutilated world


 

Try

to praise

the mutilated world.


Remember June’s long days,


and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine.


The nettles that methodically overgrow


the abandoned homesteads

of exiles.

 

You

must praise

the mutilated world.


You watched the stylish yachts

and ships;
 one of them had a long trip

ahead of it,
 while salty oblivion awaited others.


You’ve seen the refugees going nowhere,


you’ve heard the executioners

sing joyfully.

 

You

should praise

the mutilated world.


Remember the moments when

we were together 
in a white room and

the curtain fluttered.
 Return in thought to

the concert where music flared.
You

gathered acorns in the park in

autumn 
and leaves eddied

over the earth’s

scars.

 

Praise

the mutilated world


and the gray feather a thrush lost,


and the gentle light that strays

and vanishes
 and

returns.

 

Adam Zagajewski

 

happy in hardship

 

Calmness

in quietude is

not real calm; when

you can be calm in the

midst of activity, this is the

true state of nature. Happiness

in comfort is not real happiness;

when you can be happy in the

midst of hardship, then you

see the true potential

of the mind.
 
 
Huanchu Daoren