“Something…hath puddled his clear spirit: and in such cases
Men’s natures wrangle with inferior things,
Though great ones are their object.” (Shakespeare, Othello)
“Something…hath puddled his clear spirit”…and something hath puddled our spirits. What is it that has happened? It has happened here, right here, in our nation. We are divided to such an extent that we can no longer talk peaceably together. What is it that hath puddled our clear spirits? Was there ever such a time when our spirits were “clear?” Was there ever a time when our human objective was focused on great things, rather than our present wrangling with inferior things?
What are the “great things?” What are the “inferior things?” I shall leave that for you to figure out for yourself. The following poem titled, “The Cold Within,” (source unknown) may give some guidance.
Five humans trapped by happenstance
In black and bitter cold.
Each one possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story’s told.
Their dying fire in need of logs,
The first woman held hers back,
For on the faces around the fire
She noticed one was black.
The next man looking cross the way
Saw one not of his church,
And couldn’t bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.
The third one sat in tattered clothes
He gave his coat a hitch.
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?
The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he has earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.
And the last man of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain.
Giving only to those who gave,
Was how he played the game.
The logs held tight in death’s still hands
Was proof of human sin.
They didn’t die from the cold without,
They died from the cold within.