I watch a lot of documentaries these days.
Every time, I am appalled by what I see.
The cruelty. The sick minds. The violence.
The deviance. The lies. The greed.
It's the world we currently live in.
If you don't believe me, just turn on the news.

Each time I watch these things unfolding,
I wonder how I have managed to escape
these unfathomable insults to the human existence.
I wonder if I survived these horrors in a previous life,
so that I have been spared this time,
or maybe I led such a good life that I earned
the blessings of innocence in this one.

No life is perfect, each has its trials and tribulations,
but it seems my life has been blessed.
Good parents. Good family. Loving husband.
Beautiful, healthy, smart children.
Never rich, but never homeless.
Never abused, physically, mentally, or emotionally.

I look at the faces around me
and wonder about the masks people wear
to hide the damage done.
I have great sympathy for their plight;
I stand on their side in the fight for justice,
but it's hard to truly empathize
when your experience hasn't come close to their pain.

How did we get to this awful place?
How do we make it stop?
How did I get so lucky?
Was it just the Universe tossing the dice
or a jackpot on some celestial slot machine?
I have no answers,
only profound gratitude
for my own good fortune.

~Elise Skidmore ©2024

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