I Am the World

Sitting in a lonely chair, in a corner bare with wild and tawny hair that was untamed as my very soul, I saw a small boy sitting there alone. With hands folded neatly in his lap, he faced the corner but spoke to me as though he could sense me there, watching with a quizzical stare at him, as he sat.

Before I could open my mouth to ask, or stir him from the bare corner in which he sat alone, while all the other kids ran into open arms ready to go home, yet he just sat in his chair alone; he opened his instead. “It saddens me.” He said.

Brow furrowed and lips pursed, I got down on bended knee and crawled along the cold floor to he, yet I paused a short distance away. You see, it was such a peculiar thing for such a small boy to say. Clearing my throat I asked; “What saddens you?”

“The world, it weeps, and because I am the world, so do I.” And then he dropped his little head in his hands and began to cry.

Each tear that dripped down his little face, each quiver of his shoulders and the sobs took their place inside the little boy that filled the little space of the bare corner in which he sat pulled at my heart in a way I can’t say. For to say it would bring tears to my eyes yet again. What wise words, I thought all misty eyed, from such a peculiar yet little guy.

“This world is all we have and yet we use it instead of nourish it, we destroy it instead of willing it to flourish. We hate when we know love it better because people mean nothing and things mean everything. We think possessing is more important that sharing, avoiding moments of being uncomfortable is better than caring and so the world weeps, and because I am the world, so do I.”

On bended knee, I felt the sting of his words, too strong for a little boy with opinions were almost to big for him to see, like an arrow shot into the very heart of me. I crawled closer and pressed a hand on his little shoulder, hoping that I could lift some of the weight from it. So small he was, with wisdom I could barely fathom.

I had no words to say to him then, yet I could tell words from me he did not need, for he continued on. Like a waterfall from his soul, the words came, I felt like someone who was about to witness something truly amazing.

“In this world a country is rich while it’s people are poor, the farmers send off crops to big cities while they themselves remain hungry, and little hands sew together clothes and shoes and then they walk home from the factory barefoot and in rags. This is why the world cries, tears of acid that furthers her destruction… we kill her with our greed, and we kill her with her sadness. And so I am saddened because I can feel her weep, I can feel her cry for not in pain of her own eradication but for the pain of knowing her children kill her and by killing her, they kill themselves. We are babes, ones who have lured their mother into a trap, watched her die and then cry when we realize she can no longer feed us.”

Then, slowly he turned and looked at me with the eyes of an old man set in the face of a boy. Wisdom of someone older than the tender age of only eight, that showed in the eyes that cried. As I looked into his eyes, mine too became misted with sadness.

A heart weakened by words of truth, I thought then as my lips quivered, was still stronger than one strengthened by lies. So I cried.

A hand so small, when it touched gently to my cheek I barely felt it there at all, lifted my chin so I could look into eyes that were older than my own, and I had long since grown way past this little boy, so little who sat in the corner there. “Tell me, can you grow a harvest in the desert or build your house on the sea? Can you fly in heavy storms or open locks without the keys? This is why our mother cries, as we take and take and take, this is why our mother dies as we build mountains from the pebbles of our mistakes. Who are you?”

The question was so easy, yet I couldn’t find the words. “I-”

He shook his head. “No, we. You are not you alone, you are we, and we are the world. You make choices each day that harm the world and fuel greed.” He wiped a tear from under my eye and looked at it. “Yes, cry. Cry as the world is crying, because you are the world and you kill yourself. Feel the pain of yourself dying as it takes place of the pleasure of your greed and self involvement.”

And then he stood, walking away from the lonely chair, that sat in the corner bare. As he walked away he looked like a cloud of wild and tawny hair that was as untamed as my soul. I looked down at my Prada sneakers, my perfectly manicured fingers and a t-shirt that had cost me $80 despite not knowing who’s face it featured and suddenly felt the weight of my greed.

I looked at him as he looked back at me. “There is no price,” he said, “That could ever be paid to bring you back from the dead.”

When I am dead, me, the world.

I am the world.

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