For Humankind

by Jenny Leigh Hodgins 2007

 

Beyond what is good for ‘our side’,

Beyond laying blame and labeling ‘them’,

I cannot help but think of our bond as humanity,

And wonder what kind of future we’re making.

When shooting or bombing or killing the enemy

What will that do for our future society?

I watch the news in complete transfixion–

The scenes of people filling the streets

On both sides of the issue,

torn straight down the middle,

One side for peace, the other for war

Is that what we’re marching for?

How quickly we rise to assumptions

As if all the evil exists in one man and his own

As if fighting with force

could end such corruption

Like an illusion of a graphic computer game

Like retaliation and violence are sane.

What kind of world are we building–?

When faced with such conflict and threats,

We respond with the same angriness?

Sending our own out to die

On a mission to kill or destroy

Without recognition of what we are losing;

The living, the breathing, the laughing, the loving–The person, the human,

the life that is gone.

Oh, how I love my country with all my heart!

It’s freedoms, it’s opportunities,

it’s benefits and yet,

All I can do is cry

with the pain piercing through my soul,

From hearing reports of people

who are now dying

While I sit safely here at my computer

In such comfort and distance from

The noise and horror of the bombs

That my own military friends are sending.

When will we choose to end the cycle

of greed, anger, and stupidity?

When will we learn the path toward real peace

Does not begin with more

of the death and attacks we’ve received?

Our troops fight for our country—

to defend our ideals—

I am sure in their minds they are noble.

But what will we do beyond all the mess?

When the hatred repeats and expands?

Will we send our own people again and again?

To clash against, thrash about,

bash around, bang out our forces

over every sign of evil we find?

What will that do for humankind?

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