Creative Arts

I That I Protect : A Poem by Nalini Hebbar

Alone into this world I am born
With no name to call my very own
The womb that fatefully shaped me
And the eyes that lovingly peer at me
Are the ones that give me my identity
The ‘I’ that I so protectively preserve.

There is nothing in my world
That I don’t do for myself
Much more that I ever do for others,
Before the mind’s eye ‘I’ appears
In the long line of I’ s I’m just another I
Selfishly promoting my human cause.

Doing just what I want to do
To make it just the way I want it to be
Ahead of other I ‘s in the human race
Working hard to overtake and conquer
With a cuss here and a shove there
Maybe an occasional elbow in the ribs.

I work shrewdly to earn my money
To feed my family and my pets
I safeguard my home and my assets.
Hard-earned-free-time and my money
I invest on those racing ahead of me
On the social ladder I wish to climb.

I selfishly demand and help enforce
Ethics that protect my things and me
I choose the lesser of the evils offered
To stay on the right side of the fence
I condemn the ones who cross the line
Because that looks good on my résumé.

I now question my altruistic hands
Do I help because helping feels good?

Is the human in me basically selfish,
Or is every human born selfish?

Where am I going on this selfish path,
This path that always leads back to me?

About the author

Nalini Hebbar

3 Comments

  • Nice poem Nalini. But there is no selfish without a self. The genes that make a human being have no meaning within themselves, except in the holistic context of their surroundings. So if there is any meaning whatsoever in an absolute sense, it is contained within the universe as a whole. Neither in me, nor in you.

    When one tries to discover that meaning, one needs to blur the lines of self that separate one from the rest of the universe. And when one does that, one becomes compassionate.

    Thus compassion comes naturally for the curious.

    • Caro Gian Piero,ritrovo in questi versi, intatta, la tua capacità di penetrare luoghi e tempi con grande intensità e rara pacieripaztone umana.Ti ringrazio davvero per la segnalazione e ti invio i miei complimenti e auguri più sinceri

    • As for your first question, if they had filed and GZ was found immune in a Immunity Hearing they would then face penalties for the lawsuits. As for the second, it not just one pocket, but several that they were looking to pick. HOA, NWA, SPD since they supervise the program, that just for starters.

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