Humility of Being All We Are

Carol A. Hand

In times like these

when those in power

spread fear, hatred, divisiveness

and cruelty with impunity

I try to speak the truths I see

even though it may sound arrogant

judgmental, or self-aggrandizing

Sharing gifts that flow through me

does not make me “holier than thou”


It takes courage to express the best we are

in moments of clarity

when we also see the darkness

that we carry deep within

It takes an unshakable belief in humanity

The certainty that all of us know better

and want to be better

That our spirits ultimately seek

to be one with the illuminating light

of as yet unrealized compassionate, inclusive



Winter Sun Breaking through Clouds – January 2018


30 thoughts on “Humility of Being All We Are

    1. An apt question, Sha’Tara. (I almost typed “good” question). I have thought about this, and perhaps I am mistaken in my observation that even those individuals who claimed they were evil, or whom others described as practitioners of “bad magic,” wished they could be otherwise. But they didn’t seem to see a way to be otherwise. I don’t see it as my responsibility to change them, a foolhardy self-righteous task, but rather merely to be sure to stay focused on our shared light rather than our shared darkness. I’m not sure if this makes sense…


      1. Things 70 plus years of this one life as an activist and an observer have taught me: I cannot change anyone else, nor should I try – pointless exercise that is more likely to alienate people. Take the fundamentalist religious ‘right’ (should I say ‘wrong’) that always seeks to do this: they make their adherents worse than they were before.

        I cannot change the world. Rather I should beware of the world, that it does not change me to its questionable values.

        Having said that, I can change myself and I can approach the world as one would a starving dog, with caution, with food, with compassion. How the world responds will, as in the case of the starving dog, how far gone it is in its fear, anger, hate and madness. It may accept the food and calm down and let me help, or it may tear me apart. I cannot know in advance and I cannot allow my own fears and other weaknesses keep me from offering the food.

        Thus far, perhaps because I live in Canada, still a somewhat scially and politically reasonable place, I remain alive and well and my own efforts to spread the balm of compassion had proved very healing for myself and for those whose lives it touches.

        I insist on seeing the world as it portrays itself to me, whatever the avenues it chooses to do so, no rose coloured glasses, no “faith in human nature” or other kind of wasteful hope, just the reality of today. Then I look for the bloody cuts in the skin and teach myself how to provide healing to those by causing the least amount of pain or discomfort. Thus I justify my place here and in the greater scheme of things.

        In your poem, you use two “trigger” words that delineate my entire life’s purpose: compassion and humility. Another deep life lesson is that it is quite impossible to exercise compassion without the corresponding amount of compassion.

        I thank you sincerely for reminding me of this greatest of all lessons. You are a good teacher.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Correction #1: and quote ” as in the case of the starving dog, how far gone it is in its fear,” should read, “…starving dog, depend on how far…”
          Correction #2: and quote “compassion had proved very healing” should read “…compassion has proved…”

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Thank you for sharing such deep and important insights, Sha’Tara. I’m not sure if I look at the world through rose colored glasses any more. I do have to deal with people who have a long way to go in terms of becoming more aware and compassionate. But I work hard to be compassionate while still making it as clear as possible that, at least in my presence, their disrespect and dishonesty will not be effective. And I still try to give them a chance to change. I’m better at doing this, though, for those over whom I have some power (as a teacher or supervisor) than I am for those in power who use their positions to harm others. I have to be very careful about unleashing my anger with word-weapons. That is a sword that cuts me, too, perhaps more deeply.


  1. Carol, I like the idea that at core we each may be a bright light. Maybe the task really is to clean off all the grime so the light can shine through. It seems to me that much of your writing touches on that task as you seek ways to tell what must be told, and to do so with compassion and complexity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Carol, while reading your reply to my lengthy comment, I was forced to re-read the comment. I can’t believe the number of critical typos I made in it. (OK, what’s my excuse? Well it wasn’t that I was stressing out about Obama care… 🙂 ) Main typo, “Another deep life lesson is that it is quite impossible to exercise compassion without the corresponding amount of compassion.” That should read, corresponding amount of humility… Sorry.
    You are correct, words are a double-edged sword. In the “proper” state of mind/heart however, they should be safe. That’s that integrity thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Typos are the bane of my writing, too, even when I proof-read 20 times. (I did actually understand that you meant to type humility.) Typos and all, though, your comments are always meaningful and thought-provoking. Thank you for that. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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