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Think of Others

Mahmoud Darwish wrote this poem in a way that stands out for me. He bracketed every second line as a gentle reminder to remember those who have less than us.

Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving at different times, but part of the celebrating is thinking about the good fortune we have and how others may be missing what we call good fortune.

Perhaps, the measure is not material. Perhaps, the measure is in those people and things that are immeasurable.

As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon’s food).
As you wage your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you express yourself in metaphor, think of others
(those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
(say: If only I were a candle in the dark).


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

28 responses »

  1. A Great Inspiring one. Thanks for sharing.

  2. A Great Inspiring poem. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Very nice. The one that concerns me the most is (the ones who have lost the rights to speak) because I think so many would gladly move us into a place where some people didn’t enjoy that right. Honestly, I don’t think we understand what that freedom is or means.

    • I agree. I did not realize it until someone close to us declined into Alzheimer’s. There is still a voice in there. It is not always easy to get it out and I found creating a space for it was important.

  4. A wonderful poem to remind us at Thanksgiving, and any other time too. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Reblogged this on The BUTHIDARS and commented:
    The message that should be on all minds, not just those celebrating Thanksgiving.
    For my friends across the pond who are celebrating, I wish you all a Wonderful time.

  6. What a beautiful poem yes so true we need to keep in our mind those lesser than us

  7. A lovely poem! Thank you for sharing this..

  8. Inspiring words that we should all recite to ourselves every day. Thank you so much for following First Night Design.

  9. Compassion and gratitude, we Americans get really concerned around Thanksgiving, hunger seems to be an everyday thing though

    Being aware of the plight of others is the first step.

  10. “If only I were a candle in the dark”. I feel like that a lot.

  11. Thank you so much for very nice poem. ; )

  12. This is just what I needed today teaching at my school (check us out at We are a small Christian school in Santa Monica. I find your blog to be inspiring!


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