A Verse for Children

A series of exchanges on Via Lucis about the history of human cruelty led me to publish this children’s prayer for sanity. There are supposed to be line breaks, but they keep disappearing.

Dear God,

Please teach me how to pray.

We have more questions every day.

Our minds and fingers seem to find

and make a mess (we leave behind)

for other’s hands to fix and clean.

(Sometimes we’re even mean.)

Often we feel that we’re so small

that we don’t matter much at all.

And yet we know you made us right

and even called us “good” in spite

of all we do. So help us know,

dear God, how we should grow.

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, March 27, 2012

Steve’s program “Keepin’ the Faith” can be heard anytime @ www.will.illinois.edu/keepinthefaith, including archive programs.

5 thoughts on “A Verse for Children

  1. That’s a good prayer. Let’s propose it for our official National Prayer – whatever “God” anyone chooses. Or no god. “Dear Brain, dear heart, dear community, etc.” Let’s mandate that it be prayed before any governmental act of any kind on any level.

    I’ve been thinking about Al Lewis’s Wall Street Journal column, “Al’s Emporium”, that appeared in the Strib on 3/4/2012. I’ve kept the paper copy of it. The headline for the column reads, “Psychos on Wall Street.” Lewis says that psychiatricaly speaking, many of the Big $ Bastards on Wall Street, and CEOs of Big Business, are sociopathic and/or psychopaths.

    I think Lewis is absolutely correct. One of the hallmarks of sociopathy is a lack of empathy, an immorality or amorality. I look at MittWitt Romney, and that’s exactly what I see. He is an inherently cruel man. The story about his brutality as a school bully only enforced that. Same with the dog on the roof of the car. In my opinion, GWB was not as scary. The Neo-Cons are truly sociopathic, and Darth Vader Cheney is as psychotic as anyone can get. Romney has many, many of those Neo-con psychos among his advisors.

    As a former teacher, I had a class that is still renowned for their poor behavior in high school. (1980.) But there were no cruel students. There was a small group that was rambunctious to a definite fault, but they were not interested in hurting anyone. On the other hand, IMO, young, cruel bullies don’t usually change as adults, unless there is some particular life-changing experience to break them out of their narcissism.

    The sociopaths that Lewis writes about are no different than the street gang thugs who fill our jails. It’s just that Romney and the other psychos use different means, dress nicely/look good, and have a lot of money to cover up and distort their psychopathology.


    • I agree with a lot of what you’ve said, HMB. I want us to have a basic test for people who run for office, so we can screen potential candidates for sociopathic and psychotic tendencies. (Of course, assuming that this could be protected from the evil people who would tamper with results or just out and out lie about the results.) I also wish we could think in terms of a balance between Intelligence Quotient and Emotional Quotient – IQ and EQ. I wonder if cruel bullies tend to have low EQs…


      • I tend to agree with your EQ theory Sparks. I think bullies have to have a ground floor EQ. I like the idea of a test too, which Diebold would tamper with, like the do now with our voting.


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