Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How's your conscience?

In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself

The buzzard never says it is to blame.
The panther wouldn't know shat scruples mean.
When the piranha strikes, it feels no shame.
If snakes had hands, they'd claim their hands were clean.

A jackal doesn't understand remorse.
Lions and lice don't waver in their course.
Why should they, when they know they're right?

Though hearts of killer whales may weight a ton,
in every other way they're light.

On this third planet of the sun
among the signs of bestiality
a clear conscience is Number One.

People who have been reading this month's poems will recognize the style by now -- Wislawa Szymborska.

Today's newspaper tells me this is the 15th anniversary of the Columbine shootings and also the anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting. It says that every day 35 people in the U.S. are killed with guns. How many killers actually are capable of remorse? How do people acquire consciences? Is there a point in early childhood when a conscience can either be nourished or killed? I believe the answer to the last question is yes. How? That's a question I can't answer which needs thought and research.


Kass said...

I'm not so sure there's hope for pathological sociopaths and classically disordered narcissists. Scientists are beginning to say it's wired in their brains.

Wine and Words said...

"In praise of feeling bad about yourself." Interesting piece. Much to gnaw on there. Thank you for your visiting my blog and for the book title. I will look into it.

And may I just say...you are beautiful! Profile picture with that lovely hair and smile :)