Thursday, July 4, 2019

the actor chooses the play

what’s our story?

what narrative grabs us,
so that we may make sense
of who we are,
of why we’re here,
of who our enemies are, and our allies?

the Internet and social media
have pushed us into facile answers to those questions,
and somehow two roads have diverged in that electronic wood,
the Red and the Blue don’t know each other,
and we can’t even agree on facts,

we have lost the binding of compelling story we all agree on:
Horatio Alger used to bind us as a country,
a country where Americans make themselves into success,
the Puritans knew that Satan and God battle each other,
and we’d better enlist on the right side,
a current story seduces many 
into the pursuit of wealth as be-all and end-all,
think of gifted athletes who love the game, and a chance to shine,
but they know from the culture that their worth is their monetary worth,
I buy in to the story that my life has worth
in direct relationship to how much love I give,
how many good deeds are tallied by St. Peter, or the judge of karma,

the Greeks at least got it right by realizing
a discerning mind can choose which “school” to believe,
that we have the power to choose what story compels us to its truth,

the battle for our hearts
needs to have us all within a story we agree on,
and to not demonize those different.

by Henry H. Walker
June 28, ‘19

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