Tuesday, May 6, 2014

All In All

All In All

"Could you help me with this?"
an ant said to an elephant 
when a large seed the ant was dragging
back to its nest 
got stuck between some grass.

The elephant, looking down 
and feeling kindhearted that day, 
began to contemplate
all that might be needed to render some service,

but the task just seemed too delicate
and in need of more precision than the elephant's
trunk or one of his feet 
or even his tail or one of his grand ears
could handle effectively. 

So the elephant began to pray for divine intervention,
and sure enough it worked, or it seemed to - 

a berry on a nearby bush happened to fall 
in such a way as to free the seed 
onward for its destination. 

The elephant's faith in God was increased,
and the ant, having heard the prayer, 
was now less of an agnostic,
which he had been for the last year or so
because of personal reasons. 

            People hunt for religion at various points in their lives for a multitude of reasons, some look in the church, some look in the classroom, others in mosques, others in literature. I like what Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, said: "The purpose of all major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness inside our hearts." Perhaps we should judge religion, and those who decide to practice any calling of faith, as being good based solely on whether or not its adherents become better people as a result.

Battle in the Heavens (1912), Nicholas Roerich

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