Guilt or Gilt?
Why am I being force fed second hand emotions?
Every day my mail includes another blaming plea,
Another tale of third world woe, a child in poverty,
Another blind or maimed person relying upon me,
A batch soft-eyed animals betrayed in their devotions.
Then on the television screen horrific stories harrow,
Tortured pictures, tortured souls as in some freak-show
Get their thirty minutes of fame although they do not know
In thirty second sound-bites, just a background shadow,
While well-chosen, performed words chill me to the marrow.
All these things, so I am told, are easily turned to joy,
All I have to do is hand over a small sum of money
Two pounds here, three pounds there, the outlook will be sunny,
No kids will die, no pets are hurt, and the world is full of honey
There's jobs and education, work for every girl and boy.
So I give as much as I can afford but not a day goes by
Without another leaflet posted through my door to beg
For another country in famine, another powder keg
Of misery and torment, the trapped gnawing of a leg,
Another person or animal condemned by me to die.
So is this about helping through engendering this guilt?
Or just to slap a band-aid on humanities vast wound,
Ignoring the many troubles with which the world's festooned,
That the ones who do the giving are emotionally marooned,
Is this about helping others or about raising the gilt?