Man Is Not Our Enemy

*****

This poem was written by Thich Nhat Hanh during the Vietnam War. His life and the lives of his students were at risk on a daily basis. Yet this poem encourages insight, compassion, and forgiveness.

Recommendation

Promise me,
promise me this day,
promise me now,
while the sun is overhead
exactly at the zenith,

promise me:
Even as they
strike you down
with a mountain of hatred and violence;
even as they step on you and crush you
like a worm,
even as they dismember and disembowel you,
remember brother, remember:
man is not our enemy.

The only thing worthy of you is compassion –
invincible, limitless, unconditional.
Hatred will never let you face
the beast in man.

One day, when you face this beast alone
with your courage intact, your eyes kind,
untroubled
(even as no one sees them),
out of your smile
will bloom a flower.

And those who love you
will behold you
across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying.

Alone again,
I will go on with bent head,
knowing that love has become eternal.
On the long, rough road
the sun and moon will continue to shine.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Via The Raft


*****
The poet/editor of this website is physically disabled, and lives at a fraction of her nation’s poverty level. Contributions may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts

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