*A little explanation ... as this is a loooong verse (I promise I won't post anything for a week after this one). I just read Star 15's "The Threat of Eagle Grove High" and it's been on my mind since I read their moving poem of first-hand experience. I wanted to post this for Star ... I wrote it shortly after the Columbine shootings after speaking with my terrified nephews (sorry for the length in advance)
Another Day Has Dawned
Amidst our chaos and confusion;
Amidst our anguish and despair;
Amidst our never-ending questions and blame;
… Lies a world of lessons.
Through our tears and astonishment;
Through our hopelessness and depression;
Through our anxiety and grief;
… Lies a world of shame.
For it is “our” world that is responsible;
It is “our” world that allowed this sadness;
It is “our” world that has lost it’s youth;
… And it is “our” world that needs to change.
It is a warning for those who would isolate it;
It is a warning for those who would bury it;
It is a warning for those who think it will not touch them;
… It is “we”, who need to address it.
For this is the birth of our “own” generation;
This is the birth of our “own” problems;
This is the birth of our “own” past mistakes;
It is “we”, who needed to watch over them.
A new generation who have hopes and dreams;
A new generation who have life and laughter;
A new generation who deserve a chance at peace;
… It is “we” who need to make them secure.
It is time to stop talking in circles;
It is time to stop blaming and pointing;
It is time to stop questioning and guessing;
… It is time to accept the burden and act.
We are not blameless;
We are not above reproach;
We are not perfect role models;
… For we are the generation they emulate.
Look beyond your own your circle of life;
Look beyond your picket fences and chained doors;
Look beyond your own backyard;
And admit your frailties and failures.
Did you not once, look the other way?
Did you not once, stay quiet when you should have spoken?
Did you not once, say “ I cannot change it?”
Do you “know” that we “can” make a difference?
One small voice can begin to move mountains;
One caring gesture can begin to enlighten others;
One shoulder to lean on, can ease another’s pain;
… Did you “know” that you are that “one”?
Listen to those who are in jeopardy;
Listen to that small voice whispering that they are in trouble;
Listen to that child with the wayward, furtive glance;
… And be prepared to take part in their future.
For if you do not listen and talk;
If you do not participate and take responsibility;
If you do not guide and offer them your heart and wisdom;
… It is “we”, who will join in their misery.
It reaches beyond your own immediate children;
It reaches beyond their friends and peers;
It reaches beyond your nieces and nephews;
… For it is every child you come in contact with.
Positive action begins in our own backyards;
Positive action flows through your own neighborhood;
Positive action can encompass your own small town or city;
… And through this, we are all connected.
Be a mentor when others fail to counsel;
Be a counselor when others fail to listen;
Be a listener when others fail to notice;
… Be a positive experience with “every” child you meet.
For yesterday, someone looked the other way;
Yesterday, someone pretended they did not see;
Yesterday, someone passed by without offering help;
… But today … it is not too late.
Today, you can make a difference in someone’s life;
Today, you can offer your love and guidance;
Today, you can choose to be a positive influence for another;
… And then maybe … just maybe … our world will change with you.