Tag: poor

Independence

I must admit, not being a born American, I have always had a problem with July 4th, Independence Day.  I just never quite got the hang of it!  Thanksgiving was much easier.  It was like Christmas only earlier.

However this year it is much more meaningful.  Not because of the food and fireworks, but because of what independence and freedom means. I was not a refugee and I had no language barriers, so for all intents and purposes it should have been an easy transition, right?  Yes, the paperwork and interviews etc. were easy.  But leaving behind family and friends was daunting even for an adventurer like me. Immigration can be quite an isolating experience.

So this year as I witness the cruel and unusual treatment the immigrants are receiving at our borders, I feel ashamed. How could this wonderful country, which opened it arms to me and the people from the other 84 nations that stood next to me at my naturalization ceremony, behave in such a way?  Babies, yes babies, torn away from their mothers and put in cages.  It is truly shocking.  These immigrants are just wanting a better and safe life for their families. They are escaping tyranny and dictators.  A concept hard for the average American to wrap his arms around.

So on this day of independence try and put yourself in someone else’s shoes, for just a moment.  Imagine their plight, their heartache and their longing for independence and be grateful for what we have.

Thank you for listening.

Today’s poem is in response to  Word of the Day Challenge – Independence

Independence

Not American born
I come from overseas
An immigrant you would say
With no communicable disease

I am white and English speaking
What could be better than that
I do not look at it that way
I am no aristocrat

The plight of immigrants today
So poor as a church mouse
Treated like animals
Waiting for the slaughter house

They want what we have
There is no villainy
As did your forefathers
They escape the tyranny

If you can be anything
Be thoughtful and kind
It’s the independence they crave
Lady Justice is blind

Christine Bolton

Follow Poetry For Healing on WordPress.com

Live and Let Live

Live and Let Live

I regard myself as a very lucky person.  I have had low points in my life along with dizzying heights of happiness only to descend back down again.  I am fortunate because I have experienced both.  I have been sad and happy, hungry and full, poor and not so poor, loved and unloved, young and old.

Our life, to others, is never what it seems, and it is so easy for us to judge each other.  When we are without, we envy those that appear to have it all.  When we are hungry we resent those who we perceive as squandering money.  It is always an “us versus them” mentality because it is easy to criticize and play victim.  We never really know what is truly going on in someone else’s life. Even though they might appear to have everything, they could well be suffering immense pain from health issues, or perhaps going through a divorce or even losing a family member. Such resentment on our part is unhealthy and cultivating negative thoughts can hurt us in the long run.  What perhaps would be an easier thing to do is to turn the negativity into something positive. When we are not struggling financially, wouldn’t that the best time to help those less fortunate?  When our stomachs are full shouldn’t we donate to the Food Bank?  I see life as an ongoing opportunity to experience everything that is thrown our way. To appreciate the highs and lows, the good and the bad, and to never forget where we have come from. Always remember that at some point in our lives someone has helped us up and the right thing to do is always pay it forward.  It can be hard work to get there but ultimately it is worth it.  Live and let live is an expression I use a lot and it inspired me to write this poem.

Live and Let Live

I look to the horizon
Where the sea meets the sky
My life peculiarly in balance
I break down and cry

Can this really be happening
To the likes of me
No one ever gave me anything
Without the third degree

For so many years
Just hitting the wall
Disappointment and failure
Avoiding the curve ball

What life always threw at me?
Ready or not
I never understood the meaning
Of this terrible plot

To knock me down
More times than I cared
Only for me to get up
As this game was not yet declared

Then you came along
And evened the playing field
So I had a chance this time
With no need to carry the shield

You made it safe so that I
Could be the best I could be
I am scared no more
And at last I feel free

I have been kicked around by life
Battered and bruised
I can see the light
And I am no longer confused

Now I am on the side
Of what I perceive is right
I will champion those less fortunate
As I understand their plight

Life is better for me
As you opened my eyes
To the beauty in the world
That is no longer in disguise

Christine Bolton

Follow Poetry For Healing on WordPress.com

%d bloggers like this: