Does this sound like us?

Every time I come on here, I think of a poem, "The Cold Within" and how it relates to this section. It's saddening that this poem describes this area so well. I had started coming here to share my knowledge and to learn about other religions and points of views. Instead, All I see is hatred.

For those that don't know the poem "The Cold Within", it's about six people, huddled around a fire in the middle of winter. Each has a stick that can cause the fire to burn longer, but none give up their stick for selfish reasons. You have racism (one won't because another is black, and he won't because another is white), religion and economic status.

So, would you give up your stick to help light the fire if you were in the circle, or would you hold back because a Christian/Athiest/other belief was sitting across from you? Would you be burned by the cold within?


The Cold Within

Six humans trapped by happenstance

in black and bitter cold

Each possessed a stick of wood,

Or so the story's told.

Their dying fire in need of logs,

the first woman held hers back

For on the faces around the fire

She noticed one was black.

The next man looking 'cross the way

Saw one not of his church

And couldn't bring himself to give

The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes

He gave his coat a hitch,

Why should his log be put to use

To warm the idle rich?

Update 2:

The rich man just sat back and thought

Of the wealth he had in store,

And how to keep what he had earned

>From the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man's face bespoke revenge

As the fire passed from his sight,

For all he saw in his stick of wood

Was a chance to spite the white.

And the last man of this forlorn group

Did naught except for gain,

Giving only to those who gave

Was how he played the game.

The logs held tight in death's stilled hands

Was proof of human sin,

They didn't die from the cold without,

They died from the cold within.

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    That is an awesome poem, and yes it can describe not just the attitude here in this room but to what is happening to society and the bible tells that will happen. Matthew chapter 24 says the that because of the increase of wickedness the love of many will grow cold. People are afraid to help other people because of law suits people are afraid to stop and help a stranded person because of the news on how many "good Samaritans" become victims. It is sad but true that this depicts the world we live in.

  • Linnie
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Great question, great poem. When I first starting coming on R&S, you would have had to pry the stick from my cold dead fingers. Now, not only would I throw in the stick, I'd grab a couple atheists, a Buddhist, and a Mormon to go gather more wood. We'd just be sure to keep the conversation on our favorite color. Ha Ha.

  • RB
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Hi Steph,

    It seems mostly to be true. I don't think it has been as bad as it was. I have taken a short break from here, not intentional, but to answer more questions privately. It is a wonderful poem, but too true in this world. Too many are cold inside. I would throw in my stick, and myself if necessary.

  • 1 decade ago

    You know many hold this cold within,,if they are raciest

    or hate because of creed,or because of race then

    I feel sorry for them,,I am a christian but I would give

    to a atheist the same as a christian because I am

    a human.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That was very instructional and enlightening. I don't think that it accurately describes the real mood in R&S though. We're really not that cold. I think a lot of what goes on is just good healthy intellectual intercourse and a bit of venting.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    What a lesson in that poem!

    It's so easy to say that we would give up our stick...but how many would hold back, eying his/her neighbors...wanting to make sure that he held on to his stick for himself, unwilling to share?

    Let us, each one of us, put his stick in the fire...and be willing to go and gather more!!

    Honey, I'm afraid that most of the world is dying of the cold within...and there are not enough of us willing to give up our sticks to stop it.

    Thank you for this very beautiful lesson!!

    God bless you!!

  • 1 decade ago

    My stick would be in the fire, and I would work on a way to get more to give theirs

  • 1 decade ago

    A lot of people think my questions are driven by hate, but they are not.

    I want people to start using their brains more when looking at their beliefs.

    I want them to look at what they think they believe and what their preachers tell them to believe.

    To think about the manipulations that the preachers and politicians practice on them.

    I know it is hard for people who have the believer mind set to understand the skeptical mindset.

    I understand that they find it almost impossible to try and apply it to their faith.

    It is not hate that drives my questions. It is concern.

    Fear makes victims of us all.

  • 1 decade ago

    That is how I figured it would end in that poem, that they all froze to death for refusing to give up their sticks.

    I don't care who would have been there, nothing would be worth freezing to death to me.

  • 1 decade ago

    That is by far the most sanctimonious, patronising doggerel I've ever come across. Did an adult actually write that?

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