I saw a presentation of the poem On Good and Evil by Kahlil Gibran on another site and the following line I have excerpted caught my attention -“Even those who limp go not backward”
Gibran is a favorite of mine and the poem is actually a chapter in the book The Prophet – if you haven’t read his works, especially The Prophet, you should make every effort to do so.
As I say, this particular line caught my attention, to me it speaks to the manner in which the nations have endured, limping perhaps and yet placing one foot in front of the other in a generational procession of defiance and survival.
Even if our gait is impaired, even as we are limping we cannot turn back, if we are tired we cannot rest, if we bleed as a people and cannot staunch the flow, the born and the yet to be born are casting their lot and calling upon us, their hopes, their future dependent in large part on who and what we are and do, none by choice, rather by what some have called the “accident” of birth wherein none choose the host, the time, the location, or the circumstances.
No greater dependency exists, no greater leap of faith, no greater responsibility than to nurture, guide, and protect.
If the road we travel is uphill and onerous then the duty to level and clear it for those who follow is upon each of us so that they may walk upright with confident and unimpeded stride, run rather than limp, we can neither ignore nor willfully shirk what falls to us.
A child, any child is innocent, they are born that way regardless of Christian doctrine, regardless of parental character, all should be loved equally, all nurtured and protected equally.
They are not an inconvenience, a burden to be set aside or abused.
They are the sum total of the nations, and it is they who will remain as will their children and their children’s children.
We either guide and tend to them or we lose not only them but the future until nothing remains and the history of our people is written by others who will know little of who we are and have been.