Too much ease and too much shelter
Encourages thick weeds to grow,
And the grassy fertile glade
Can make thinking dull and slow.
Then comfort, working like a drug,
Entraps and enslaves the mind,
Whispering those sweet and easy lies
That we are not the slaves of time.
Too much struggle and too much pain
Can strip the spirit bare
And the wind, precipice and sliding rock
Engender hopeless despair.
Then bitterness, that destructive blight,
Makes imagination dark and sour
And a mind stripped of joy and hope
Is bereft of all its healing power.
But struggle, difficulty and pain
Can also be our closest friends,
Directing both mind and character
Towards a most desired end.
It is through these dark fruits
We the seeds of compassion sow
And in ways mysterious and strange
Empathy and love germinate and grow.