“Too much happiness or too much unhappiness render us
oblivious to any good or bad changes around us.”
Happiness, like sadness, takes up too much room–
like a greedy house guest usurping our closets with their excess.
What bride notices the homeless on her bridal route?
What new mother thinks first of the starving hidden half a world away?
Sadness, like happiness, eats up our world.
The hungry yearn first for bread,
the ill for surcease from pain.
Who feels the thorn may overlook the rose.
Life is balanced, not within each,
but within the all.
What seems unfair to the single eye
is perfect harmony for the all-seeing.
So much easier
for the fortunate to feel worthy of their lot.
to feel, somehow, that their place in the world
was created just for them.
Do the cursed feel equally singled out for hunger, cold, pestilence and misery?
Does a master mason have an intended place for every stone?
Does a baker single out a single speck of flour for inclusion?
Is a bee instilled with life to pollinate a certain flower?
What kind consciousness could have borne the guilt
of thinking through a plan more specific than the overplan–
the functioning of the grand machine of the universe
wherein happiness and sadness
swing like a pendulum
that somehow balances all.
The writer who provided the quote that prompted this poem has also written an article about Abdul Kalam that you can find HERE. The link to the article the above quote was in can be found by clicking on her name above. We would both be interested in what others might write in response to this prompt. If you do, please send a link to both of us! We want to know what you think.