Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Quality Of Mercy

The Gentle Snow

I've been focused so much over the last many years about justice, about karma. I warned people about what the future might bring, they didn't listen, and, things happened. Never mind. Disasters kept happening and that still might or might not make a difference, nor personal calamity nor illness and even death, that might not  be enough to change you, just, the endless cycle of birth and rebirth that is everyone's lot. Even as I tried to help so many people who were close to me, I realized that I could not make them believe, if they were not ready. 

But over the holidays, I came to stop trying so hard, for no matter how much I know this, it still is my nature to try and help. Yet, when I decided to let go, this is what came to me. The day after Christmas,  gentle snow began to fall, and I was reminded of the following  lines:

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes
The thron├Ęd monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings,
But mercy is above this sceptered sway.
It is enthron├Ęd in the hearts of kings.
It is an attribute to God himself.

The Merchant of Venice
William Shakespeare
Act 4, Scene 1

Know this: all you have to do is ask, and someone will hear your prayers. To all the people I have helped, and will continue to help, the quality of mercy, is not strained.

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