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A few words from June 12th, 2016

Let’s say
You are sitting there
And reading these few words
 
Let’s say
That your heart is filled with hatred
You despise a group of people
Not individuals in your life
Just a group of people in general
 
You might hate them
For the color of their skin
The religion they choose to practice
You might hate them
For where they live
Or where they came from
You might even hate them
For whom they choose to love
 
Yes
You and I have established
One thing
 
Your heart
Mind
And possibly your soul
Is filled with
Hate
 
What I ask of you
The one sitting there
Reading these words
Is simple
 
Why?
 
Maybe someone has hurt you
Done something in your past
So horrific
It has scarred you this deeply
 
But this was an individual
I can assure you
Not everyone is like them
 
Maybe there was an act of violence
One against you
Or your family
And now you are sitting there
Plotting revenge
 
Again
I can assure you
An act of violence
One against those
Who are simply innocent targets
Will not bring you any relief
Not in this world
Or in the next
 
In so many ways
You will be simply doing to them
What someone else
Did to you
 
This might look good on paper
But in the end
Believe me
It never works
 
No
I am just a poet
I know you think
There is no way
That I can ever begin to understand
Your pain
Your sorrow
Or your rage
 
And you might just be right
 
What you have to understand though
Is that I was born and raised
In Oklahoma City
I have seen what an act of violence
And terror
Has done to others
 
It was my home
That was attacked
 
It was my people
That were killed
 
They were killed by a man
Who once was sitting there
In a small room
Working with others
Trying to find a way
To make a statement
That was born of blind hate
 
A hate for a group of people
Innocent people
Who were just trying to go about
Their everyday lives
 
So many men, women
And yes
Children died that day
For no real reason
At all
 
What I am asking you today
May not be as hard as you think
 
What I want you to do
Is stop
 
Stop the hate
Inside yourself
 
Only you can do this
No
There are no words I can ever hope to write
That can
 
All I can do
Is sit here
In front of this small computer
And try
 
Ed Roberts 6/12/16
 
We can never change what people have done.
The best we can ever hope for is to change what they might do instead.


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A few words from June 12th, 2016