Our World: Pride, or Shame?

This is a poem I wrote after watching The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, despairing over how humans don't seem to be capable of being amiable towards each other.

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1. Our World: Pride, or Shame?

Why can't people just be nice to one another?

 

The past is full of terrible deeds;

And the present seems to be no better.

Have we learnt nothing from our ancestors?

Let's just hope, and pray, that the future will be brighter.

 

Throughout history there have been

Wars

Murders

Violence

Discrimination

 

Even in times of peace

There will be bullies

People who look down on others

Who believe themselves superior

Who hurt others because they can.

 

You hear about the Vikings

And their bloodthirsty battles.

 

The slave trade

And white supremacy.

 

The Romans

Throwing Christians to the lions.

 

Tudors,

Cutting heads off

Witch hunts.

 

Victorian child labour

And slums.

 

And think how far away all that is from our time;

How we are more civilised with our technology.

 

But do you really believe that?

Remember the World Wars,

Not so long ago

Millions dead

So world leaders can have their petty power play.

 

Racial inequality; segregation

Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.

Did they fight so we could lapse back into the old ways?

 

The IRA, 9/11, Afghanistan

Closer still.

 

What has changed between then and now?

 

Dictators        World Wars        Gladiators        Raids        Kidnapping        Slavery        Terrorists

Genocide        the Holocaust        the KKK        Pillaging and plundering        Rape        Civil War

 

It is not all depression and death

But when the skies are dark

That's what you see.

When you turn on the news

That is what you hear.

When you are in school

That is what you learn.

 

I despair in humanity sometimes.

What have we done to our world,

To ourselves.

What kind of precedent are we setting for future generations?

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