If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
This is a short thought-provoking poem that helps us to unfold the true essence of humanity . Dickinson wanted the readers to know that the purpose of life is not just ‘living through and passing by’ but becoming useful and helpful to the suffering hearts or else this gifted life of ours would be regretfully wasted.
For me, this poem also inevitably opens an array of questions, to my conscience like “What have I done to help others selflessly? How many times have I been charitable to a needy? Most importantly – ‘Why I did not do more of it”? And interestingly, I like it when my morality gets indirectly questioned through Dickinson’s this particular poem. Because now I feel a power of altruism silently growing in me, which is indeed required to make life more meaningful.