You reading prose and poetry I write
Belong among the fortunate of Earth—
But not because I share profound insight
And not because my work’s of special worth.
Then why? Because some person clearly cared
Enough to see you’d have the skills you’d need
To understand what other minds have shared
And freely water learning’s fertile seed.
The food by which a hungry head’s enriched
Might rest untouched atop your dinner plate
If birth had found you and another switched
By circumstance, a god, or luckless fate.
When filled with pride for all the things you’ve learned,
Reflect on your advantages unearned.
The House is found on Paradise’s shore
Away from nations called “Reality”.
You’ll never look upon the puny poor
Whose days are filled with bleak banality–
Including picking dimes up off the floor
To pay the trains or buses’ trifling fee
And working sev’ral dreary daily jobs
To buy oneself some frozen corn on cobs.
Impoverished people, honest stars believe,
Have sunken low ’cause low they’ve always aimed.
The wisest stars, who never would deceive,
Insist the lowly lice should be ashamed
For envying what famous folks receive.
Who’d not agree with all they’ve sagely claimed?
They’ve worked so hard to earn their billion bucks
By playing chance and giving secret sucks .
“Egalitarian” was originally a term of ridicule employed by a capitalist who accused his socialist opponent of “consuming the eagles soaring above the herd.” This word, meaning originally “those who eat eagles,” was coined by analogy with “vegetarian,”* meaning “those who eat primarily vegetables and avoid eating animals.” Undergoing a type of transformation common in the history of languages, “egalitarian” became a word with positive connotations thanks to social changes and its fortuitous similarity to “equalitarian”.
*Some might suggest that “aquilavore”—“Aquila” + “vor[are]e,” modeled on “carnivore” and “omnivore”—would have been a more appropriate term than “egalitarian.” “Vegetarian,” the word on which “egalitarian” is based, raises an interesting question: “If vegetarians eat primarily vegetables, why don’t humanitarians eat humans?”