Is it possible to know
The value of a man?
Can I observe my neighbor
And enumerate his worth?
By what shall we judge
One against the next?
Are all relative, one to the next,
With none to hold the objective?
There exists one Objective,
The original Existence:
Infinite and incomprehensible;
Such magnitudes do not lend to
Numbers easy or worthwhile.
Such miniscularity obscures
Any effort toward investigation.
But may a worm judge his kind?
Surely, we who see eye to eye,
Hidden behind the same veil,
Can establish terms of our own.
These, by their various names—
Art and culture, history and politic,
Love and lust, want and need—
Hold what power we give them.
Even I may hold that power,
Insignificant mite that I am.
You then hold that same power
Over me, a needful patient.
And you, same-fated subject
Of my very own: beloved mine,
Does what worth I would assign
Give you meaning or raison d’etre?
I can speak only for myself:
To say that though I know it
To hold no such great weight,
Yet I feel it—a deeper knowledge.
To feel a truth beyond my ability—
To know without understanding—
Is this the furthest edge of being?
Is this to love and see the face of God?
This small measure of His power,
Given to those creatures here below,
Formed in the imago idem,
Can give life and blessing or the curse.
It is relative: all to the Objective.
Yet I was made for it—and you—
To give and receive: life and death,
Called to love my fellow man.
But why task this broken cistern?
Can I give life to the deserving?
To one who hardly bears himself,
How much more to love another?