If looking out for Number One were all
the virtue and the prowess we could boast,
as ancestors of the long-fabled Fall,
that is the least of us and not the most.
There’s more implicit in humanity
than often is, alas, made manifest;
so much of history is insanity,
it’s hard to recognize us at our best.
But focus on the highest we’ve achieved,
despite our waywardness and lack of love;
attend to what great sages have conceived
as transcendental means to rise above
the motives and impulses that destroy
serenity—our only route to joy.