The hardest part is people.
So Lord, help me face them
without rancor or disappointment.
Help me see the pain behind their actions
rather than the malice;
the suffering rather than the rage.

And in myself, as I struggle
with the vise of my own desire-
give me strength to quiet my heart,
to quicken my empathy, to act
in gratitude rather than need. . . .

Remind me that each small bird shares atoms
with anthrax, with tetanus, with acid rain,
that each time I close my heart
to another, I add to the darkness;
Help me always follow kindness.

Let this be my prayer.

Karen Holden in Prayers for a Thousand Years by Elizabeth Roberts, Elias Amidon