Wednesday, June 5, 2013


for Karen Armstrong

    Above all other laws there’s one command
    That throughout history has been repeated,
    Applying to all folk of every land:
    To treat each other as you would be treated.

    This Golden Rule of reciprocity
    Implies we have compassion at our core,
    That fellow-feeling comes spontaneously,
    Forefending us from rivalry and war.

    And yet we know this Rule is over-ruled
    More often than it’s generously applied,
    Which means we must be scrupulously schooled
    Lest what is mandatory be defied:

         By being loved, we learn to love another
         And grow to each a sister or a brother.