We complain
that our parents will never understand the problems we face
Not knowing that they spent a lifetime ensuring
their struggles would not be relived by their children

We place
labels on individuals based on judgment and the superficial
Not knowing the story, the struggle, the emotion
that lay beneath each fleeting face

We create
boundaries among ourselves distinguishing the classes
Not knowing that the barriers we manifest
cage people both out and in

We live
in a society where hookup culture dominates
Not knowing that by seeking only the physical
we trivialize our spirits and destroy our souls

We misappropriate
cultures that are not our own
Not knowing that our fads and passing phases
disrespect a history that we do little to comprehend

We tiptoe
around topics of race
Not knowing that by making it a taboo subject
we elongate a culture of silence and blind eyes to oppression

We forget
the lessons of the past about hate and exclusion
Not knowing that our ignorance
leads to a present of the same depravity

Nevertheless, we must
step into the shoes of others and walk around in them
To know the whole story, the truth, the insight
that will shift our mindsets from the confines of ME
to the incomparable freedom and rare luminosity of WE

Ayushi Tandel ’17

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