Lines of bodies piled one behind another,

Sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers,

Looking for a few walls to cover their heads,

Hoping a few mouths could be fed.


But there was no room in the inn, said Jim.

Their situation began to look grim.

Frozen water parachuted from the sky.

Thermometers stopped declaring the weather,

As they huddled behind a dumpster in an ally nearby.


But I didn’t care

Because I had a roof

And a coat,

I held ravioli in a bowl.

I complained about how beans didn’t settle in my stomach,

And I protested against eating generic brand food.

Toaster tarts instead of poptarts? I questioned my mom.

My perspective was disturbingly skewed.


In another country,

A girl was like a mute caged bird,

So beautiful, yet trapped and unheard.

If only she had an education, she thought.

But her father would surely have her shot.


But I didn’t care,

Because I went to school.

I lamented about how the iPads worked slowly,

And how the teachers gave us too much to do.

I slept during class, and disrespected my education,

If only I had considered the alternate situation.



Far away,

A boy ran to the river.

His two jars of hope grasped tightly,

He had water to deliver.

As he dipped them in the bleak liquid,

The boy felt conflicted.

He knew it was not clean,

But he grabbed his throat and drank,

Remembering what he had seen.


But I didn’t care.

Clear substance dripped from my faucets.

I grumbled because the tap water left an aftertaste;

So, I only drank bottled.

I showered for half an hour,

Not caring about the waste.

If only I would have acted for others

As much as I complained with haste.


A teen sat alone,

His bruised eye resting against the wood paneling.

A burn mark on his arm from an old cigarette scarred his skin.

He had flashbacks of strangling.

His foster mom was on the loose.

After his tenth home and family,

He felt like an anomaly,

Impossible to love and easy to abuse.


But I didn’t care,

Because I knew my biological parents.

They never hit me or each other;

Their love was inherent.

But I moaned when they wouldn’t pay for coffee.

I whimpered and whined,

not understanding my life was so easy.

When it came to seeing the needs of others, I was blind.


But when finally I cared,

it was too late.

700 homeless perished in the cold;

Over 2 million girls were sold;

3 million people didn’t live to see pure water;

and every ten seconds a child was hurt,

no longer feeling like a son or a daughter.


I learned to take a sword to the apathy

And a knife to selfishness.

Instead of indifference, I decided to make a difference.

Who will stand with me,

And aid others in their helplessness

No matter how far the distance?

The amount of excess we have is insanity,

And it’s time we gave back to the rest of humanity.

We must battle for the lives of our own kind,

Putting our selfish ambitions behind.

In the end, the number of possessions we had will not matter.

We can choose to ignore others or take action,

And I hope we embrace the latter.


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741