Powerful Eagle, with beak cruel and strong,
Looked down from the shadow
At the edge of the forest glade
And spied Young Bear below, frolicking in the meadow.
Young Bear, what will you do today?
I will fish, King Eagle, for trout cagey and shy.
Then answered the Eagle, may your sight be long and clear
And many a fish may you spy.
No, King Eagle do not wish me success.
Wish me instead, just Merriment.
Merriment? Scorned the Eagle.
How will Merriment feed your hunger?
King Eagle, the wind singing in the trees
Will feed me this day and longer.
Young Bear scampered through the wood
All sights and sounds a delight.
The river before him beckoned,
Water reveling in the touch of morning?s light.
Lithe Otter arose from the shore
Trout flopping at his feet.
What goals do you have for today, he asked.
What tasks will you complete?
I, as you, am here to fish.
For trout darting and slick.
Then may you be like me, Young Bear
Elusive, agile and quick.
No, Lithe Otter, do not wish me success.
Wish me instead just Merriment.
Merriment? Scoffed Lithe Otter.
How will Merriment keep you strong?
Lithe Otter, the dancing light upon the water
Will feed me all day long.
Lithe Otter swam away, other fish to catch.
But he couldn?t shake the absurdity of Young Bear?s merriment.
Then before him leapt a trout, falling with a splash
Rainbows tossed into the air in sheer abandonment.
King Eagle soared upon the breeze
Merciless gaze penetrating all from the sky.
But a fickle draft tickled the down beneath the feathers of his breast
And a slow, remembered smile dawned in his no longer cruel eye.
Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.
- Frederick Buechner
If society prospers at the expense of the intangibles,
how can it be called progress?