Transforming Pain into Value

When I survived the feeling of being ostracized, I was able to see my own self-worth. My own humanity. It was here, in this place, where I saw how easy it is to dehumanize the oppressor. This poem is not only about me, the invisible, but also the need to regard ALL others as fully human. Yes, even those that may ignore you and me.

Here is where that messy grace comes in. Dehumanization is a real issue facing our modern life, but it is not a given destiny. Poetry gave me the ability to see a human face in the moon, in the clouds, in streams and trees. Personifying every part of the world– both the things that hurt and please me, gave me the ability to see humanity in those that ignored me. This, this is power.

“Rather than looking for explanations for why all people deserve to be treated with compassion and respect, we ought to be working at creating a world in which people are treated with compassion and respect. Human rights aren’t lying around waiting to be discovered. They’re made, not found.” ― David Livingstone Smith


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