Soft hearts, thick skins

Being numb
Is not a great way to be human.
Neither is being one without boundaries,
Without barriers from the harsh elements.
We need thick skins-
Not to tolerate abuse
But to keep from being unable to distinguish
Between insults to ignore
And wrongs that need righting.
We need soft hearts-
That still know how to cry
And how to appreciate, deeply,
The existence of others.
We cannot soften the face of the earth
So that our feet never encounter
Stumbling blocks,
But we can protect our hearts
From becoming so jaded and cynical
That we ourselves become
The thing that causes others to
Suffer and stumble in this world.

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