Opening Activity

What are two or three things you feel are necessary to be aware of in the world? How did you become aware of these things? How do you retain your awareness of them?

Discussion Questions

  1. Is it necessary to remember your own pain to understand the pain of others?
  2. What is meant by "comfort" in this poem? Is it necessarily a bad thing?
  3. Why does the speaker believe it is important to remember the things described in the poem?
  4. In what ways do shared experiences of hardship connect communities? In what ways do they impede their creation?
  5. What does it mean to be part of a community if we are comfortable while others experience pain or suffer? What can we do? What, if anything, are we obligated to do?
  6. Why is staying in "comfort too long" the greatest obstacle to remembering what the poem describes?

Closing Activity

Fill in the blank: Remembering our own past, painful experiences and feeling comfortable are                 .

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