Which Path?*

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Our closest
animal-
-relatives, chimpanzees–
are predisposed
to heart-thunking,
shocking
brutality,

Also.

In this world
where some won’t eat meat
for harm done
to sentient
vulnerable
creatures;

at this time,
when  killing
an insect
may cause
a sensitive soul
remorse

we witness
the seemingly-surreal:
the slashing sword,
beheading
Anger beyond
belief–

Mob-surging
fierce
bloody hands
pulse with
pent-up pounding.
The impulse
is
Domination–

Complete.

We lived it.
We see it.
The pain of it
lives on in language
in disparity
of power
security
hope.

But what?
What
motivates to peace?
Six year-old Ruby
bridges to
transformation
with care for
the Other
which is not so
other.

What in us
defaults so
easily
onto
the vengeance-path?
The path of
rage?

What draws us
onto the path of
compassion?
The kindred-path
of
peace?

* with thanks to the Rev. Beth Neel on her thoughtful Lenten sermon on  theology and violence.

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