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If I had a Penny

I’ve heard people say,
If they had a penny for every time blank-
They’d never work again.
If I had,
A penny,
For every time I’ve been degraded,
For every time I’ve been oppressed,
For every time I’ve felt belittled-
I’d work until my bones broke,
Until my eyes no longer looked out and saw the sea,
Until music ceased to reach my ears,
Until my mind failed to process-
Every. Good. Deed.
Because it’s not about the money,
The diamond rings,
The stylish cars,
The lavish houses.
How many people,
Slaved away in mines-
Digging for your diamonds.
How many people,
Went underpaid,
Underappreciated,
Crafting those cars.
How many people,
Will sleep homeless tonight.
While you ponder,
Which bedroom you should sleep in,
Or which tv to watch the game on.
If I had a penny,
For every time I’ve been degraded,
For every time I’ve been oppressed,
For every time I’ve felt belittled-
I could feed the hungry,
I could cure the sick,
I could fix the broken.
But I don’t have a penny-
For every foul word that echoes from your lips-
That makes its way across the universe,
To my ears,
Where I process it in my brain,
Only to come to the conclusion-
That you’re afraid.
Afraid of change-
Afraid of what you don’t understand.
Afraid to be revered as anything other than stereotypical.
Its people like you-
Who I pity the most.
If I had a penny,
For every time I’ve been degraded,
For every time I’ve been oppressed,
For every time I’ve felt belittled-
I could feed the hungry,
I could cure the sick,
I could fix the broken.
But money can’t feed a soul that refuses to admit it’s malnourished,
Money can’t cure a soul that denies it’s illness,
And money can’t fix a soul- that doesn’t see the damage, the pieces, the brokenness.
So I’m afraid,
I pity you, above all else.
You,
With your diamond rings-
Your stylish cars,
Your lavish houses.
At least those who live their lives at the depths of mines-
Know that their labor is honest and brave.
At least those how work for pennies on the dollar,
Building cars, they could never hope to afford-
Understand that their mind is pure, and soul at ease.
At least those who will sleep under bridges, and behind dumpsters tonight-
Fathom the notion, that in their powerless nature-
There is serenity, there is weight they do not carry-
The weight of poverty.
We disgrace those who have nothing,
For the result of actions performed by those who have everything.
We laugh, and look down at them,
But they may very well be the saviors of this world-
They will carry us from the darkened pits of our mind
And they will show us a side we’ve never been able to conceive-
The side that lacks a sort of-
Lost faith in humanity.
So perhaps,
The next time you choose to degrade,
To oppress,
To belittle,
You’ll remember something.
Something, this something-
This very thing I’m about to say.
Your thoughts have an impact,
Your words have an impact-
Your actions…have an impact.
It takes no more effort,
To think positively- rather than negatively.
It takes no more effort-
To speak kind words, rather than hurtful ones.
It takes no more effort-
To perform an act of generosity, rather than an act of violence.
Most,
Will read what I’ve just written-
And walk away unchanged.
Human beings are creatures of habit-
We do not like change by nature…we reject it.
My words will not continue forever-
One day my bones will break.
My eyes will no longer look out and see the sea.
The music will cease to reach my ears,
And my mind fail to process every good deed.
So I encourage you,
To be the one who walks away from this-
Changed.
Improved.
Bettered.
Not for me,
Not for anyone besides yourself.
I think,
If you really let these words shape you-
If you allow yourself to change, to improve, to be better-
You will be amazed at the things you can accomplish.




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