“World” by William Wordsworth
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gather’d now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.—Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.
If there is one thing I’ve heard in conversations on every continent and in every country I’ve visited, it is that our so-called progress has left us desperately out of tune with the remarkable world in which we dwell. In our quest for productivity, we no longer respect the daily cycles, the rhythmic pulsation of light and dark. We insulate ourselves from the cynical nature of the seasons. We constantly demand higher yields from our food animals and from the plants and vegetables which sustain us. In all this “getting and spending,” we truly do “lay waste our powers”! Our avarice appears to be insatiable.
What are our “powers,” anyway? There is no doubt in my mind that we are empowered to create in this world, to be creators, but when getting and spending moves us more than love, nature, and truth, we are bound to feel disconnected, dissatisfied and disillusioned at a certain point in life.
Be clear on this point and you will see the world in a whole new way.