If we had new eyes

Note: Given at the Human Family Reunion, William Jewell College, on April 24, 2007.  

By Michael Humphrey

The poet Galway Kinnell writes of beauty:

The bud
stands for all things,
even those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;

Gandhi, said of his own work, “Real beauty is my aim.”

We live in beauty; we need not create it anew. What we need are new eyes. Eyes that see the other side of the story, eyes that see the beauty within the bud.

It is easy to see tonight, the loveliness of the blossoms here. The grays and browns of earth, the blues and greens of water, the pinks and reds of fire, each moved by the spirit, moved together to become one.

It is harder when we are anonymously cut off in traffic, when we are purposefully mistreated for the skin we wear or the way we cover that skin or whatever reason. When those who would harm others have their day, when headlines make us see reds of anger and blues of despair. Soon we see the world through these tones, in all things, and beauty seems lost.

But if we had new eyes we would see we are the bud, all of us. We would reteach ourselves our loveliness. And flower again. I believe we would flower again.

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