Gimme more, gimme more, more, now, now, NOW, give it to me yesterday!!!
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Human greed has poked at itself from the Merchant of Venice to the Rules of Acquisition of the Ferengi and beyond…
Poked at itself so that it could make some space for human kindness which, albeit far less humorous, is far more of a safeguard.
It’s supposed to be highly desirable to be the bestest with the mostest at all times and to shine brighter, and for longer, than anyone else attempting to usurp one’s center stage…It’s supposed to be good to be rich and to be getting richer, to be famous and to be getting famouser, to be beautiful and to be getting beautifull-er. (Microsoft wouldn’t let me type this without a hyphen…)
It’s supposed to be good to strive.
It’s supposed to be good to achieve.
(But doesn’t one achievement just leave an emptiness into which one must fit the NEXT achievement?)
It’s supposed to be good to set out-of-reach goals and to score them, because the sweetest sound is that of suspenders snapping as hero worship washes over you.
It’s much better to want what you have, so that you may always have what you want.
You’ll say yeah? When you have an aggressive cancer that just won’t go into remission, you’re supposed to want what you have?
You are, as a matter of fact.
Standing in the way, there is the entitlement so many have taken possession of, which supercedes even greed. If I have that cancer, I can choose to feel entitled to the latest experimental this-and-that, available only “over there”. Or, I can feel entitled to euthanasia, also available only “over there”. Or, I can shed entitlement altogether, and want what I have right over here. Being reaped by the grim guy.
Most people will choose either the first or the second. Most people want to be seen as either “fighting for their lives” or “fighting for their dignity“. Because it’s supposed to be good to be seen as having thrived.
Because it’s all about wanting and working the want into get. All the way to the end.
I love Archibald McLeish’s “a poem must not mean but be”. I think of our lives that way too sometimes. When meaning and purpose are everything, especially in the face of death’s purported “absurdity”.
We are, until we are not, anymore. No matter how little or how much we have “achieved”.
Our only obligation is to die.
You’ll say yeah? We’re not obliged to love and be loved? Nope. We’re only convinced we should.
And the comfort of “wanting what you have” comes when the last thing we feel, as someone dies, is their love.
Of all known institutions, I attend only two: church, in my heart, and school, in yours. Both are subject to demolition. - Lucie Adams, 2007
It is only for poetry to know how many stanzas fit into one caress. - Lucie Adams, 2008