What I am For: A Poem

The other day I was thinking about what I am for.

This was right after I was thinking about how easy it is to live our life being against things and people. And it is certainly right to call out harmful things and bad behavior.

On the other hand, it is really easy to get stuck thinking about all of the things we are against; all the people we dislike; and all the things and people ruining the world. When we do this, we often stew in feelings of hate, rage, stress, and anxiety.

This is no way to live.

Another Way

So recently, I was thinking about how I want to define my life more by the things I am “for”, rather than the things I am against. And I wrote this poem.

“What I am For”

I am for . . .

The forest.

Caring for the earth like she is my Mother.

Loving you.

Listening to you,

And trying to understand your perspective.

Having hard conversations in gentle ways.

Cussing like the prophets.

Caring for animals.

Getting lost in romance.

Reveling in the mystery of the Universe.

Standing with the oppressed.

Loving justice.

Creating a world in which everyone can flourish.

Painting with bright colors.

Cooking good food,

And inviting you to dinner.

Reading Plato.

Getting better at Greek and calculus.

Watching silly movies.

Letting myself be overwhelmed by the beauty of Classical music,

And punk rock, too.

Laughing a lot.

Crying sometimes, too.

Finding the light of God in everyone and everything.

Being political.

Loving people more than politics.

Practicing hope and baking bread.

~by Shelly Johnson

Question: What are some things you are for?


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By the way, this is a related post I recently enjoyed reading the other day.

8 thoughts on “What I am For: A Poem”

  1. Ooh, we are so similar! I could sign up to almost everything you’ve listed here, except Plato, Greek and calculus. I’m also for
    * seeing the beauty and wonder in every living thing
    * celebrating diversity in all its forms
    * honesty and integrity
    * folk music
    * good books and fertile imaginations

      1. I’m currently reading The Shepherd’s Hut by Australian novelist Tim Winton, who is regarded as his nation’s finest literary novelist. He’s won the Miles Franklin Literary Award for Best Australian Novel four times and was declared a Living Treasure by the National Trust of Australia in 1997! It’s a challenging read: the narrator speaks an with earthy Australian vernacular tongue, but Winton’s exploration of survival and self-discovery in a harsh, unforgiving landscape is strangely compelling.

        From the sublime to the ridiculous, I raised my spirits during the pandemic restrictions by working my way through all 14 Jeeves and Wooster novels written by P G Woodhouse across some 60 years of the mid-20th century. I touched on my Woodhouse reading marathon in this recent blog post about Simple Pleasures during lockdown: http://64reflections.home.blog/2020/08/26/simple-pleasures/

  2. Oh Shelly, I resonate with all things written in your poem.
    I love to write
    to inspire,
    to dance,
    to care for others – as I feel I’m a natural born caregiver,
    to advocate for animals, hunger, abuse of any kind, homelessness,
    I love to be in nature,
    I’m for not standing by when someone is being hurt,
    I’m for politics that want to make this a better world,
    I’m for playing and having children laugh, feel safe and want to learn,
    I’m for being beauty in a rather dark & dim atmosphere,
    I’m for lending an ear, giving a hug or sound advice,
    I’m a dreamer, a fighter, a lover and a rebel…for all things & beings,
    I’ AM

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