Differences

Different but still similar

Speaks loudly of our race

Decrying experience of the other

Knowing that ours is the truth.

Discrimination an important element

A strength of our cognition

Serving purposes that allow

Clear identification and problem solving.

But it becomes a sharp axe

When applied to others

Cutting their ways to pieces

Abrogating responsibility for care.

It takes integrity to support

The right to express a view

That challenges your sense of self

Not fitting within your comfort zone.

Worse still the judgement

You are not worthy if this you believe

Regardless of whether it impacts

On others and their lives.

‘Live and let live’

Seems a very sound rule

But one so difficult to apply

When your truth is so apparent.

Retreat so many do

From the conflict entailed

Avoiding the pain of action

Revelling in the hazy mist.

Others step forward with zeal

Fighting the good fight

Sure that their view will prevail

And their goals will be realised.

Fence sitters are often decried

How can both sides be seen?

Everything must be black and white

Gray a colour not embraced.

And here I sit on that fence

Watching the turmoil evolve

Falling on one side or the other

As the fence violently shakes.

Not a more evolved person

Just an interested observer

In the slapstick of life

The battles never ending.

For far at the soldiers’ rear

Generals, politicians, media moguls,

Religious leaders, and others with motives apparent

Point the weapons and pull the triggers.

So depressing at times

And then a kind act of one to another

Can make the heart truly sing

Restoring faith in a flawed species.

Brian Matthews

29/12/2020

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