Friday, March 3, 2017

How Fortunate I’ve Been

It’s now plain to see how fortunate I’ve been
to have lived all my life in a liberal democracy,
where I’ve had opportunity to walk all the paths
open to me, and to play out without penalty
the many probabilities of all I’m suited to be,
never having to choose any specialty
or confine my mind to a narrow expertise,
missing the variety of my soul’s diversity.

That freedom to taste from a limitless plate
of experiences and great expectations—
a variety pack for one lifetime, compact,
when otherwise it could take nine or ten—
accelerates the pace of a spiritual embrace
and brings great numbers of souls turning home,
as few dare to do when tyrants mount the throne.
But freedom is rare in the long history of humanity.

Now our world, briefly free,
from nineteen-forty to two-thousand-seventeen—
which amounts to about a lifetime for me—
has relapsed into tyranny,
reacting in fear of liberal democracy
and the quarter it grants its enemies,
who grow strong in the absence of scrutiny.
But I’m too old to forget that I was born free.

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