It works for me.
But, but, but..!
It works for me.
But don't you see? Don't you see how you depend upon-- Don't you see how there's still the-- Don't you see?
Works for me!
But, but, but--
Sometimes "works for me" is all you've got. Maybe some see it as all there'll ever be, but sometimes it's all you've got.
So let the world rest 'til tomorrow. Let the world alliance of the people who till the land and watch the babies and fish the waters rise.
But until then--
Act as if tomorrow's now. Act as if you're a brother or sister of all others. Act as if--no, live like it. Because it's true. Or if nothing is true, then live like it because it's a pleasant way to be. Infinitely better to be deceived and lied about and hurt and wounded than to do the same first. No need to be some penitent or some sacrifice. Defy, grit your teeth, growl. And refuse to join in their game.
Maybe in this world we'll first appear as fools, outmaneuvered at times, surprised at others. Maybe we'll grow tough and defend ourselves in new ways. Maybe we'll still be hurt. Maybe we'll be killed, maybe they'll take our babies away through deceit and law, maybe they'll denude us and rob us and say we're monsters but that doesn't mean we'd be any less guilty were we to behave like others, were we to play at petty Caesars and treat our fellows like subjects, shaking the weak to their knees so that bigger men than us can keep sweeping up.
I've been lied about, and I've been attacked, and it's gotten dirty, and it's gotten sad, but I have only to tell myself and hear my dear ones tell me that the truth will out and the right will win. And I whisper to myself that they may be wrong and I may be wrong and the evil of the punitive will win, that the cruelty of the self-righteous will see me broken and weeping, having lost everything.
But I will not lie. And I will not cudgel or persecute. I will not do what's been done to me. I vowed that long ago about my father, and I never thought I'd have to swear it again. But like I've said, the state springs eternal, and it's in us, and the one who shares your bed can be your tyrant in a month. And you'll wonder if you shouldn't treat them like you've been treated.
But you decide to play it smart but play it right. Right, wrong... I don't even believe in these in the cosmic sense. But what works for me works for me. I want to go back to singing of the world. I want to go back to talking about the fraternity of man. But right now, all I've got is what works for me. It's not honor. It's not justice. It's not benignity, either. It's just what makes me able to face me, what makes me feel that our children will still be able to face me, year after year. It's all I've got, and it's hard to keep it. I'd like to act like a dog, but this works for me, and that's it. No truth bigger than that.
I hope I never judge a man for the smallness of his vision again. I've not known until now exactly how small are the traps through which some of us have squeezed.