Here we are yet again, in America, in a moment where some of us are struggling to understand what is the very meaning of the term, “black lives matter”. Where some of us understand that all lives matter but if certain lives are being cut short, it becomes important to remind each other and ourselves that those lives not only matter, but that they matter “too”.
When we see suicide bombers bringing death to others and taking life from themselves in trendy, upscale, cafes, malls or shopping areas full of tourists who are at least part of the middle class if not the wealthy, should we be any less moved, saddened or pained when the same thing occurs in a remote village of a third world country?
When an actor is recognized at an awards show for his humanitarian efforts and speaks eloquently of the disparity between the perceived value and treatment of people of color in and out of Hollywood, why is it that his words are perceived to be that of hate and a boycott ensues, seeking his termination from the television show he stars in? Why one might ask?
Because people on this planet, not just America, suffer from the narrowest of thoughts. The most selfish of hearts. People are good in nature, generally speaking. Yet there remains a fundamental difficulty to even wonder aloud for but a moment, what it must feel like to walk in another person’s shoes.
Far too much value has been put on statements (so and so is such and such) versus questions (I wonder it is this way? or How did that happen?). Until we can get legitimately curious about each other as people, it will always remain difficult to understand each other, even though all along, we’ve always been more alike, in the ways that count most, than we could ever be otherwise.
I am the boy
I am the boy with skin that is brown, with dreams of no shade in particular but many, bright and strong.
I am the girl with dolls and dresses, hopes and wishes, fears and loves alike.
I am the wind that comes with change, blowing hope and sometimes despair.
I am the mother who’s carried her child for eight months and delivers on the ninth, a sliver of promise for a better world tomorrow. Who’s hopes and prayers were answered as my baby cried, a sign of health when entering the world.
I am the child at the playground. The athletic one first chosen when teams are picked for games.
The forgotten one, slightly over- weight, laughed at, chosen last if at all.
I am the girl, popular by no one’s standards, different in most eyes, friendless but yet confident if only in disguise.
I am the boy whose mind is never off, except when in the classroom and asked to participate, the picture of boredom, with passing grades passing me by, as others laugh and wonder why.
I am the person who wants a future bright for those I love, who wants to see them healthy.
I am the person who craves peace, joy, abundance, and the chance to matter, make a difference, and be counted. I am you, you are me.