Seeing with new eyes
Everyone you see, you say to them, ‘Love me’.
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise
Someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, the great pull
Why not become the one who lives with a
Full moon in each eye that is
With that sweet moon language
What every other eye
In this world is
The 14th century Persian poet Hafiz ends his poem “With that Moon Language” with a suggestion. Since all of us, he says, want to connect, maybe we can shift our focus from receiving to giving.
But, let’s think for a second—where do we usually place the focus of our interaction with others? On how we treat them or how they treat us? Maybe that snarl on the lady at the post office could be softened by our smile. Maybe the driver that cut you off doesn’t need you to sit on your horn. Maybe your friend just needs a hug.
Okay, BIG DISCLAIMER HERE: I’m not speaking at the level of the #Me Too Movement. That stuff is real and should be called out and no one should be anyone’s doormat. I am not talking about abusive relationships or misogyny or racism or homophobia. I am talking about our interactions with our family, our friends, and others we encounter at work, the grocery store, and yes—bad drivers.
And in these interactions, maybe we could soften our hearts, come out of ourselves a bit, and recognize the universal need to connect. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., whose life and work we honor in the US next week, An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of humanity.