Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Own Real

This poem by John Boyle O'Reilly has been in my head recently, although the original meaning, about appreciating kindness and generosity of spirit is something I highly, highly value - the poem sparks an internal quest for my own Real.

First, the poem:

"What is the real good?"
I ask in a musing mood.

"Order," said the law court;
"Knowledge," said the school;
"Truth," said the wise man;
"Pleasure," said the fool;
"Love," said the maiden;
"Beauty," said the page;
"Freedom," said the dreamer;
"Home," said the sage;
"Fame," said the soldier;
"Equity," said the seer.
Spake my heart fully sad:
"The answer is not here."

Then within my bosom,
Softly this I heard:
"Each heart holds the secret:
'Kindness' is the word."

So, O'Reilly and I are seeking truths. What is my Real Good? What is my Real Purpose? What is my Real Truth? I won't add any more quotations, but words from another group of Irishmen are tempting to recall here - the lyrics of U2's "I Still Haven't Found what I'm Looking For"

Besides trying (and more often then not feeling like I'm failing) to be the best parent I can, what is my purpose?

I've got a pretty strong inkling that writing is a part of it. Writing to entertain, communicate, or educate, what is my real strength? Is the world best served by reading my take on all things 24 related? If so, then that is cool. That is not a bad gig at all. But I feel there's more that I can do, I feel that there's more that's expected of me, or maybe needed from me.

And oddly, I feel that my Real Good, my Real Truth relates to what O'Reilly summarized as being important in not just his life, but all our lives - kindness. That's a worthy message to pass on as often as possible.