Category Archives: Kindheartedness

Bertolt Brecht

The Mask Of Evil
by Bertolt Brecht

On my wall hangs a Japanese carving,
The mask of an evil demon, lacquered in gold.
I see with sympathy
The swollen veins on his brow, showing
How exhausting it is to be evil.

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Dalai Lama

We can think of honesty and dishonesty in terms of the relationship between appearance and reality. Sometimes these synchronize, often they do not; but when they do, that is honesty, as I understand it. So we are honest when our actions are what they seem to be. When we pretend to be one thing but in reality we are something else, suspicion develops in others, causing fear. And fear is something we all wish to avoid.
Facebook, October 6, 2010

Sometimes, when we are discouraged by a difficult situation, anger does seem helpful, appearing to bring more energy, confidence and determination. And while it is true that anger brings extra energy, it eclipses the best part of our brain: its rationality. So the energy of anger is almost always unreliable. It can cause an immense amount of destructive, unfortunate behavior.
Facebook, October 11, 2010

If you have peace of mind, when you meet with problems and difficulties they won’t disturb your inner peace. You’ll be able to employ your human intelligence more effectively. But, if your mental state is disturbed, full of emotion, it is very difficult to cope with problems, because the mind that is full of emotion is biased, unable to see reality. So whatever you do will be unrealistic and naturally fail.
Facebook, November 23, 2010

Too much of a self-centered attitude creates mistrust and suspicion in others, which can in turn lead to fear. But if you have more of an open mind, and you cultivate a sense of concern for others’ well-being, then, no matter what others’ attitudes are, you can keep your inner peace.
Facebook, December 4, 2010

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Charles Simic

The Toad
by Charles Simic

[…]
God never made a day as beautiful as today,
A neighbor was saying.
I sat in the shade after she left
Mulling that one over,
When a toad hopped out of the grass
And finding me harmless,
Hopped over my foot on his way to the pond.

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Chad Gifford

Teach me things.
What kind of things?
The things you know.

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Robert Burns

To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest, with The Plough (1785)
by Robert Burns

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion,
Has broken nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
‘S a sma’ request;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss’t!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,
Baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell-
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro’ thy cell.

That wee bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter’s sleety dribble,
An’ cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men
Gang aft agley,
An’lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

Still thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e’e.
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!

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David Foster Wallace

Look, man, we’d probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is?
Interview with Larry McCaffery (1991)

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Philip Schultz

The God of Loneliness
by Philip Schultz

It’s a cold Sunday February morning
and I’m one of eight men waiting
for the doors of Toys R Us to open
in a mall on the eastern tip of Long Island.
We’ve come for the Japanese electronic game
that’s so hard to find. Last week, I waited
three hours for a store in Manhattan
to disappoint me. The first today, bundled
in six layers, I stood shivering in the dawn light
reading the new Aeneid translation, which I hid
when the others came, stamping boots
and rubbing gloveless hands, joking about
sacrificing sleep for ungrateful sons. “My boy broke
two front teeth playing hockey,” a man wearing
shorts laughs. “This is his reward.” My sons
will leap into my arms, remember this morning
all their lives. “The game is for my oldest boy,
just back from Iraq,” a man in overalls says
from the back of the line. “He plays these games
in his room all day. I’m not worried, he’ll snap out of it,
he’s earned his rest.” These men fix leaks, lay
foundations for other men’s dreams without complaint.
They’ve been waiting in the cold since Aeneas
founded Rome on rivers of blood. Virgil understood that
death begins and never ends, that it’s the god of loneliness.
Through the window, a clerk shouts, “We’ve only five.”
The others seem not to know what to do with their hands,
tuck them under their arms, or let them hang,
naked and useless. Is it because our hands remember
what they held, the promises they made? I know
exactly when my boys will be old enough for war.
Soon three of us will wait across the street at Target,
because it’s what men do for their sons.
The New Yorker, May 5, 2008
http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/poetry/2008/05/05/080505po_poem_schultz

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