The Modern Via Negativa

You cannot say what something is
By saying what it’s not;
That is the new dilemma in which
Modern times are caught

The “Don’t do this,” and “Don’t be this”
We have in some abundance;
In fact, we say these things so much
It’s kind of a redundance

The strange thing is we will not say
What people ought to be;
Rarely in weak specifics nor
In generality

We feel to say these type of things
Is fatuous, presumptuous:
Or perhaps pollyanic
Or just dumb and Forrest Gumptuous

But this, I think, is a mistake.
We must have points of view:
Kids never get who they should be
From what
They shouldn’t

Juxtaposition – Ethics & Aging

Long Line

Even if you don’t believe
In good and evil
You believe in
What you want and don’t want

I find myself with
A more limited range of reactions
To stressful situations
As I get older

Going after what you want
Or preventing what you don’t want
Without weighing good or evil
Is, itself, a type of evil

For instance, waiting at a restaurant
Is almost intolerably frustrating
For me now
Which is, of course, absurd

And everybody knows this
It is behind our crusades against injustice
Or minor complaints about unfairness
All over the world

For I know that time spent with my family
Is time well-spent wherever it might be
But I feel my emotions ossifying
As aging works its process of freezing me in place

Justice is about maximizing good
And minimizing evil
While recognizing our inherent
Human limitations