The Quality of Beginnings

January 26, 2011
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There are lighthouses on the East Coast whose lonely profiles stare far away across the sea

Lighthouses and yards of ocean I have never seen.

If I died tomorrow, would I regret not seeing those lighthouses?

There are millions of people moving in the bustling anthills that are America's metropolises

Millions of people I will never know.

If I died tomorrow, would I regret not knowing those people?

There are hundreds of thousands of places across the world where someone is crying out in pain

Pain I will never soothe.

If I died tomorrow, would I regret not soothing that pain?

Think of all the views to miss, the people to know, the pain to soothe.

How can anyone wish for death

When there is a world in so much need of us?

There is only one place in our great country where someone is writing this poem.

One place only where I can be.

If I died tomorrow, would I regret this place?

I think not.

I think I would remember this place forever

As the beginning of my journey

But by itself it is not enough.

I must go forth to do my best to hush the world's cry for help.

It is a wonderful beginning,

But a beginning is only so much.

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