audio Audio By
Ben Whisman

Railing Against Ourselves

By Ben Whisman ~ 2009-03-20

    1. Why do people insist on choosing “us and them?”
    2. Why do people tell my friend that he can’t be himself,
    3. Because they think he should be some way else?
    1. Don’t listen to that music! Don’t watch that! Don’t read that!
    2. Don’t wear your hair that way! Don’t dress like that!
    3. Don’t hang out with your friends!
    1. We don’t believe like that in this church!
    2. That’s not my religion, your god or gods are false!
    3. Infidels! Holy war! (How can war ever be holy?)
    1. Those aren’t my politics, what’s wrong with you?
    2. Don’t argue with me, you’re on the wrong side!
    3. Let’s fight, let’s have a war!
    1. Don’t you dare love that girl!
    2. Don’t you dare love that boy!
    3. Don’t you dare love one or the other!
    1. You shouldn’t be out in public! It’s unsettling!
    2. That one should be in an institution, locked away!
    3. That one is too crippled! That one is too old!
    1. Those people should just get jobs — and a bath!
    2. You talk funny, we can’t have your kind here!
    3. You look funny, we don’t want you here!
    1. Oh, I could go on and on.
    2. When did we all stop loving enough?
    3. Why?
    1. Sometimes, I wonder why the Creator, God, Great Spirit
    2. Doesn’t just end this botched experiment
    3. And start over anew.
    1. Sometimes, I miss the ones who no longer are here.
    2. I share the sadness and anger and the loneliness
    3. Of feeling left behind, when part of me wanted to go.
    1. I rail against it all.
    2. I want to scream sometimes.
    3. Take notice! Change! Dammit, change!
    1. And I rail against it in myself.
    2. I am just as fallible.
    3. But I wish to be more.
    1. And shouting, spewing anger
    2. Is not the way to bring about
    3. What I long for, acceptance, change.
    1. So I go about my quiet way
    2. Hoping that someone will listen
    3. Just long enough to become the change too.
    1. I am “us” and I am “them.”
    2. And so are you.
    3. If that is so, then we are one.
    1. I love my friends.
    2. I love people I haven’t met yet.
    3. Can you love us too?
    1. Or would it be wrong for you to love?
    2. Are we too different? Are we too much the same?
    3. Who are you, inside?