Seeking its course of least resistance,
Seeking its calmest state,
Seeking homeostasis,
Human behavior evolves like a river.

The headwaters of human goodness and virtue
Are the ancient origins of altruism and cooperation– 
Patterns ensuring group survival.

Imagine each cloud, snowflake, and raindrop
As a small act of kindness and compassion,
Merging into the beginnings
Of traces and trickles of morality;
Into brooks and streams
Singing in a low, comforting harmony.

Thundering downstream whitewaters
Of indifference, discord, and conflict
Have diminished with each passing century.
Humankind has grown more gentle, more loving,
More compassionate, more peaceful, more stable.

Now flowing gently around and through humanity,
The silent current of virtue has grown deeper,
Becoming more broad, more steady–
An unstoppable force for good.

The river flows into a fathomless sea
Of wisdom, tolerance, and understanding.
The reservoir of hope is constantly replenished.

Sustained by pure waters from a vast ocean
of truth and nonviolence,
Justice and peace will prevail.

Will Walsh ©2017

Note: My optimism is fed by Stephen Pinker’s 2011 book,
“The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined”.
New York, NY: Viking