When people disappoint us
We conclude
All their motivations are base

The desire to dominate others


When they world seems right to us
We conclude
People are motivated by

Desire to be respected and useful
The search for love
The need to relate to others

In addition
People seek other things
As a means to survive

So I asked a friend
Brilliant, successful, happy
How much of her life was motivated
By greed, sex, or the hunger for power

She said:

Some, I guess.
It seems to me, those categories
Are so broad as to be made to fit
Almost anything;
But the concepts are useless, in
Many ways.

For instance, I love my husband
And I love sex with him, but:
I did not marry him just for that,
Nor for his money – I have my own –
Nor to dominate him in some way

I married him, because, he was the person
I wanted to go through life with as
A partner: someone to comment on life
Together with.

For the desire to explain
[Which I took to mean “curiosity”]
Gives life whatever meaning we find

The world is not
An elementary school playground;
Where the purpose is
To be bullies, and
To take other kid’s candy

The world is a place where
We can grow up, and
Figure out how
To make our own

If you want to call that “power”
Feel free;
I call that
The desire to add to people’s lives

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