Poems

Diversity and Compassion…

3 monkeys

Diversity and Compassion…

I was brought up in the streets of South London,
Worked in the Fire Brigade and security teams,
Also on road laying gangs,
And then in the Martial Arts.

Always with groups of men,
We ridiculed everyone, including ourselves,
If we didn’t like someone,
We hit them.

Do you want a slap?
Give him a dig,
Don’t like him,
Knock him out.

That was our reaction to everything,
Like children spitting their dummies,
Losing intelligence and getting angry,
Then just wanting to hurt someone.

It was natural to insult everyone,
Different colour, different size,
Different gender or gay,
Everyone was a target.

Even my friends names reflected our culture,
Ginger, Blackie, Chalkie, Legless, Fatty and Slim,
If you didn’t ridicule yourself,
Someone will do it for you.

Different times, different rules, different culture.
But that wasn’t me, it was the ‘blind’ assumptions I grew up with,
My family, school, friends and work made me who I was,
If I didn’t meditate to change, I would still be the same.

I realised that you don’t need to love everyone,
You don’t even have to like them,
To be kind and patient with them,
And treat them with compassion.

You don’t need to agree with someone,
For them to be your friend,
They don’t need to be like you,
For you to learn from them.

When you dislike someone,
Is it them or is it you?
Compassion opens doors,
And from empathy you learn.

Diversity and empathy is what makes us better,
It makes us rise above being heathen,
Throw away the pitchforks and flaming torches,
Listen, learn and grow.

When the fear stops,
When the aggression abates,
When we can work with others,
The media control loses power.

We have to care for others,
Or being human was a waste,
We have to think for ourselves,
To become an emotionally intelligent race.

And only then will the world become a better place.

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