i've never understood racism. i've never understood how two people don't like each other based on outward appearance. growing up in south florida i was surrounded by people who looked different than me. but i was lucky. the person who raised me never saw the difference. my father didn't see color. he didn't see nationality. he didn't see social standing. he just saw people. plain and simple. black and white. for him there were no gray areas. people were people. period. end of sentence. because he never treated anyone different, my sister and i never grew up thinking there was a separation between any of us. because he never thought twice about helping everyone, my sister and i never grew up thinking anyone was better than anyone else. we were the lucky ones. because our father saw the value in everyone and he instilled that way of living and thinking into our lives and into our hearts.
i wrote this poem shortly after high school because i realized early that everyone wasn't taught to believe like we did. not everyone was taught that skin color and nationality and social standing didn't matter. parents actually-with their words and actions-taught their children to hate. and i hated it. i hated-and still hate-everything about it.
though the words are decades old, the message still rings true to me. i hope you feel the same.
same window, different view
i've never felt so lonely, so frightened and so sad,
until the day i opened up the paper that i had.
the front page read, "it's useless, we're not trying anymore",
the second said, "forget it, we will never win the war".
i didn't understand at first, until i read each line,
and then i knew, without a doubt, that we were out of time.
the world as we knew it, would never be the same,
people and their troubles, found someone else to blame.
no one says, "i'm sorry" for their pride gets in the way,
no one stops to realize the price that will be paid.
for we ourselves won't suffer when the fighting has begun,
it's our children who will live with all the things that we have done.
the hate that runs right through us, will never find an end,
when we'd rather have an enemy, than try to make a friend.
two people who may look alike, are not the same inside,
it's a fact that everyone should know, sometimes we just don't try.
the world would be a better place, if everybody knew,
i'm not like you, you're not like me, same window...different view.
i pray that i always remember not to look at someone's appearance, but to stay focused on their heart...