Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Compassion, Benevolence, Humanity, Blah Blah Blah

Would you disbelieve me if I were to say
That my earnest desire as I go on my way
Is to give and arouse in each person I meet
A measure of kindness, of which I’m replete?

Of course you’d not doubt it, for you know me well;
For the thought of compassion just makes my heart swell;
And sympathy, gentleness, benevolence too
Are the traits that inspire me; I all others eschew.

My parents endeavoured these traits to impart
And their noble intentions I took straight to my heart
But in practice, I found, though it saddens me still
Theoretical kindness was quite hard to fulfil.

I meant, really meant, to follow their direction
To make benevolent humanity, in me, a perfection.
I loaded my psyche with mercies till then unknown
And was filled to the skin with considerate bones

But regardless of learning and pushing and shoving
And coaxings paternal, and maternal loving
And volumes on manners and holding your knife well
And how to speak nicely that made a boy’s life hell;

Or how to address an Archbishop or Duchess;
Or ask of your Aunt if she’s much better, or much less;
And reply with a letter for a gift I’ve not wanted.
Or faced up to a plethora of relations, undaunted,

Who’ve noted I’ve grown so much bigger and stronger
Forgetting, of course, that I’m ten years no longer,
But insist I speak clearly and try not to stammer
And remember the rules of both Spelling and Grammar.

Good breeding is something I didn’t miss out on.
And it certainly isn’t the thing to dine out on
Turning up at a dinner party in the height of good fashion
If you haven’t an ounce of concern or compassion.

Compassion and empathy… I’m just full of that stuff
I’m intelligent, educated, but is that enough?
If my wonderful qualities are all locked up inside
‘Cause they won’t leave my internals and brave the outside.

And I’ve heard that a person has said of my plight
(And I may be quite wrong, but I think I heard right)
“That with all of your background, and I’m going to be blunt;
You are exceedingly gifted… but you still are a cunt”.

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