Is not necessary
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.
Notes to this poem…
In the latest edition of my virtual reality dreams, I went up a mountain to visit with the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius and talked “big picture” stuff. One of the topics we touched upon was how to be more compassionate. Confucius simply asked me if understanding someone that did something I didn’t agree with, or someone in some situation that led them to do something I didn’t agree with, was required for me to empathize with them. In plainer language, was understanding required for empathy.
I thought hard about it, thinking of examples of these controversial actions like stealing to feed your children and such that I had already learned to forgive those who had done to me in the past. It was hard to think up something truly of the situation of which Confucius asked, but persisting, I eventually found an example in murder when someone wasn’t truly mentally responsible. I don’t buy that in pretty much all the cases I hear about where the defendant pleas that. However, for some, I can see the struggles they have with reality, or the reality they have to live with from other events. While I might not think they were not responsible in the moment of murder, manslaughter, or some other such heinous crime, I can empathize with what they have to deal with, how they’ll need far more help in the future and that jail was the least of their worries. I don’t understand their situation, but I can empathize.
I’m sure there are other examples I could think of if I thought more on the matter. I didn’t have time, though. Once I gave my answer and explained it to Confucius, he approved and told me to go formulate it into a philosophy to paint on a wall full of philosophies. Unfortunately, it was in traditional Chinese that I couldn’t read. Yet, oddly enough, I knew how to paint some characters my memory was able to recall as I wrote up the philosophy of this poem’s text in traditional Chinese characters. 🙂
I love my virtual reality dreams where I never question anything as being “unrealistic” and just go with the flow. 🙂
The O-series of poems are one stanza poems composed before I got onto writing haiku and tanka, and short poetry while in action or traveling by select means like plane or ferry. These poems are 3-9 lines long with at least one rhyming couplet, and not of the short forms just mentioned. For the sake of elegance, I just called the collection One.