Upside down, Telegraph Hill, San Francisco.
When I was growing up in the American South, I became acutely aware of disparities - in income, in living conditions, in education. It bothered me that while some people enjoyed enormous privilege and lived quite comfortably, others struggled to survive. I noticed that these problems crossed racial and socio-economic borders, yet serious issues usually were neglected or marginalised - just like the people affected.
Wherever I've traveled in the world, I've noticed a consistent thread of disparity between the haves and the have-nots. No matter the language or the culture or the geographic location, the inequities are similar. To achieve more equality and balance - at the very least to help the have-nots have more - has been "my line," as per the writing prompt for Write On Wednesday. Long before I realised it, political activism and human rights work became part of my life: first through my writing, then through my actions.
This child deserves
as much as you or I
no matter his background
or his family history.
That child isn't smarter
or more compassionate,
simply because a silver spoon
fed her from birth.
This child might discover a cure for cancer
if you give him the chance:
the same education and guidance
afforded his richer friends.
That child might use her wealth
to improve the lives of others;
provide opportunities for those
who never caught a break.
This child could confound the naysayers;
refuse to remain a product of his environment.
He could carve another destiny,
born of vision and belief.
Who you are and who you become
isn't defined by material wealth,
but by what you do to help yourself
and those less fortunate.