Thursday, May 13, 2010

Absolutes -- A poem

The beauty outside my office window
makes me wonder how it’s possible others
don’t see
don’t understand.
 As rhododendrons obscure my view of the house next door
and cardinals flash their brilliant reds
across the emerald green oak leaves,
I think of the insensitive fool I was driving behind yesterday
who thought nothing of tossing his fast food discards
out the window --
bag and all.

What motivates people like that?

Or those who throw their burning cigarettes
onto the sidewalk
before entering a store.
Do you they really think the earth is their personal ashtray?

It’s people like that
who scoff at people like me.

I have to keep my emotions in check
so I don’t assault them
as they assault my beautiful land of residence.

And then there are the cars I pass on the road
that transport little children
void of car seats
or seat belts.
Once again, I have to keep my emotions,
my sensibilities,
in check.
It’s not my job to judge them.
But is it not my responsibility to care?

How do I keep my opinions to myself
when I see a pack of cigarettes
shoved in the side pocket of a diaper bag?
When I see a very pregnant woman lighting up?

Is it wrong for me to care about the little ones?
Is it wrong for me to care about the earth?

that’s how I feel.

How about you?

Do you feel you’re in a minority
with your strong opinions and concepts of right and wrong?
Are there no absolutes?
Is right or wrong really a matter of perception?

Some would like us to believe so.

But, you know, I think I’ll hang on
to my belief that common sense means
not harming an unborn child,
not tossing litter somewhere for someone else to pick up,
not berating a child with cutting words,
not tossing recyclables into the trash,
not exposing children to known carcinogens,
not wasting our resources,
not choosing things over relationships.

I guess my list could go on and on.
I imagine yours could, too.

Are we wrong?

Does it matter?

--Hana Haatainen Caye

©May 2010


  1. I feel the same way, like people look at me like I'm the crazy one for picking up other peoples garbage! Who's job do they think it is??

  2. It seems that nowdays, our society encourages the absence of absolutes. Out of political correctness I suppose. Not wanting to hurt someone's feelings. But there are rights and wrongs in this world. The gift of writing is one way to express our opinions and our feelings about those issues that you listed. Having an opinion is good. Knowing what you believe is excellent!


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