The Salve and the Salt

How can i not be two-faced?
Worthlessly I somehow think I deserve respect
So I bring those two attitudes to the world
Perhaps I think that respect would salve my worthlessness
So I bully my way through the door marked Deserve
Then wonder why my deserved doesn’t come.
Would you bring me respect when I bring you ridicule?
So these actions, selfish, self-serving, rooted
In my worthlessness, sown with bitterness,
Bear only rotten fruit.  And I, so oblivious to others
Was surprised by this!  Thus instead of salve,
To that primal wound
I was applying salt.
Now Eric, what will you do from here? This respect
Must start first in you, if it is to find you.

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15 thoughts on “The Salve and the Salt

  1. Wow! Been there, I think, done that, including the questions. It’s GREAT to read this as poetry–an acknowledgment of being human and of having another chance. (And that’s my answer to your first question.)

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  2. I enjoyed this poem and its ring of truth.It’s difficult to believe that you are that kind of person you describe…people who are, never admit to it . They usually adopt the trite attitude supported by some religious and new age philosophies that everyone gets what they deserve, which is a very convenient for opportunists and the fittest in the jungle .

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    1. Thank you Rall. I found that what I thought I was doing, was having the opposite result. “The road is long, with many a winding turn…”. It’s like I’m only now beginning to grow up.

      Sent from my iPad

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  3. I liked reading this, Sherry. There are various settings for “Deserve” to enter in. In grading students, a lot of profs say they “give” the grades. I abhor this, Mrs. Jim helped me see the light. I changed, never ‘gave’ another grade, just awarded them what they “deserved”. I.e. I didn’t “give” grades, rather they get the grade they have “earned”/”deserved”.
    ..

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    1. Thanks for your comments Jim. Though I’m really thinking the idea of deserve doesn’t serve me anymore. The sense of entitlement that comes from it leads to expectations that are so very limiting to me. Not being a teacher I cannot really comment, but I am intrigued by your ideas. Surely students earn their grade, but isn’t there a certain level of authority involved in teaching? I wouldn’t want to disempower teachers…

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