I once was blind...

Orphans in Swaziland
Photo Credit:


I once was blind
to the pain and suffering
of those so far from here

I once was deaf
to the cries and whispers
of those across the sea

I once was mute
to the injustice and oppression
of those with faces unlike my own

But, now, my eyes
look, captured by their gaze,
connecting with the Light within

Now, my ears
hear the song of thousands
struggling to sing in harmony with Life

Now, my voice
beckons, like the bells of old
waking others to the Call

by Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
Copyright 2009


This poem came to me just after reading Maithri's latest blog post. While the same message has been given throughout the years by countless others, wiser and more eloquent than I, my prayer is that it will "wake others to the Call."

We have heard over the years the following:
  • "It takes a village to raise a child."
  • "We are the change we are waiting for."
  • "Do to others as you would have done to you."
  • "It shouldn't hurt to be a child."
  • "Only the Love is Real."
Yet, the children still cry, people still starve, abuse still raises its ugly hand to others.

What can we do? How can we help?

First, get educated to the facts. Knowing what is happening, seeings the pictures, hearing the stories, learning the names, all helps to make what is happening real. Become a critical thinker. Don't just buy into someone else's thoughts or ideas. Take the time to look at the issues, do the research, learn both sides of the story and THEN make a decision.

Second, always connect your heart to your head. Thinking mindlessly is akin to being a robot. Contemplative thinking connects us with others, with the world around us. Anything done with kindness makes a difference, even if it is simply a smile.

Third, remember, ONE person can make all the difference. The world can be like a dark cave, but when one person lights a match, sharing the flame with others, the darkness soon dissipates.

Finally, LOVE...yourself, others, the world. When we live in LOVE, we are able to ford the streams, climb the mountains, find the cures, end the wars. LOVE is all we need, truly.


A few facts to help with suggestion # one:

Swaziland has the highest prevalence of HIV infection in the world.

42% of the population are infected with HIV, the precursor to AIDS.

70% of the population live on less than one dollar a day.

10% of the population are orphaned children.

There are over 15,000 orphan-led households in Swaziland.

Due to the far reaching effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, an entire generation (people of childbearing age) has been decimated within Swaziland.

This has left thousands of orphaned children trying to survive without food, shelter or guidance.

Through community and homestead/family-based projects Possible Dreams International, Inc. aims to bring concrete change into the lives of those affected by the HIV pandemic, extreme poverty, malnutrition and endemic disease. (Resource: Possible Dreams International, Inc.)

Orphans playing outside Moyeni Social Center - built with LOVE!


Maithri said…
This moves me more than I can say... Can i have permission to share your poem with our readers?

You are the light,

Much love dear friend,

Hi Linda,

I concur with Maithri. Very moving and insightful prose. How many of us are deaf, dumb and blind to humanity? Without soldiers of light, we will remain in the dark.

Thank you for bringing us further out of darkness.
Merging Point said…
wonderful profile picture! the embrace of the children, the fulfillment on your face reflects the connectivity.
poems arise from the depths of divinity and one such is this...
Dear Maithri, Alexys and Merging Point...Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words.

The Light you shine into the world brightens my life, as well.
Anonymous said…
Hello Linda,

Very moving poem, my friend. Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if there is no one there to hear it?

Thanks for the beauty you shared here!
Miruh, dear friend,

Thank you for kind comments. Indeed, I believe it still makes a sound, which travels far and wide until some caring soul opens their self up to hear it.

Love and Peace...L

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