“The Great Turning”

This poem made me cry.  I found it on Joanna Macy’s website.  Her website is worth checking out!


"You’ve asked me to tell you of The Great Turning, of how we saved the world from disaster.
The answer is both simple and complex.
We turned.

For hundreds of years we had turned away as life on earth grew more precarious.
We turned away from the homeless men on the streets, the stench from
the river, the children orphaned in Iraq, the mothers dying of AIDS in

We turned away because that is what we had been taught.
To turn away, from our pain, from the hurt in another’s eyes, from the drunken father or the friend betrayed.

Always we were told, in actions louder than words, to turn away, turn
away. And so we became a lonely people caught up in a world moving too
quickly, too mindlessly towards its own demise.

Until it seemed as if there was no safe place to turn. No place, inside
or out, that did not remind us of fear or terror, despair and loss,
anger and grief.

Yet on one of those days someone did turn.

Turned to face the pain. Turned to face the stranger. Tuned to look at
the smoldering world and the hatred seething in too many eyes. Turned
to face himself, herself.

And then another turned. And another. And another. And as they wept, they took each other’s hands.

Until whole groups of peole were turning. Young and old, gay and
straight. People of all colors, all nations, all religions. Turning not
only to the pain and hurt hut to beauty, gratitude and love, Turning to
one another with forgiveness and a longing for peace in their hearts…"

— Christine Fry (October 19, 2004)


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