The incivility of the world around us gets to me, I have to admit. The chasms between us seem infinitely huge. How did we lose the important traits of friendship, love, brotherhood? When I think about how far apart so many of us are today, it makes me sad for our world. And the next generations.
Inspiration comes when you least expect it and such was the case when my closest friend sent me this piece, which she knows hits home for us all at this really difficult time. “It’s less a poem and more a message,” she wrote me.
It’s a simple suggestion for trying to find friendship, love, brotherhood. So simple.
I think you’ll appreciate it.
Dear friends, of all the irritations of this life,
Looking for things misplaced is perhaps
The most common, the most wasteful
Of time that might be better spent elsewhere,
Doing other things that we would like to do
I have lost my keys and then recovered them
Three times in one day, have searched
Long and hard for the handkerchief
That was always in my pocket,
Have wasted hours trying to remember
Where I read this or that, a memorable line
Of poetry that isn’t where I thought it was
The hidden things we do not see
Because they are plainly unconcealed,
Not hidden at all, but as obvious
As a really simple crossword clue,
These things we need to learn
Are always there, ready to be seen
If only our eyes were open:
Friendship, love, brotherhood:
The things we want for Scotland (nb: America!)
So very much it hurts; these things
Are there, and always have been
We have not replaced them,
But not looked hard enough,
Have not looked hard enough.
-Alexander McCall Smith