I see your suffering. I hear your cries, I see you stoically smiling to hide your fear, your anguish. I see the resignation that signifies that no hope remains. Earthquakes are heartquakes.
I see your ruined homes, your ruined lives, caused by climate change. You are its human face. All you worked for is being threatened, everything that is your life. I see you.
I see you, sister-woman, shielding your face from his blows. I see your children, who know too much too soon.
I see you, brother, your remorse, your despair, your self-loathing, your frustration at not knowing how to deal with the anger stoked by your own mistreatment as a child.
I see you, my brothers and sisters of every race, every sexual orientation, every human condition, who face discrimination and ignorance at every turn. I see what our world needs: your gifts and your freedom of expression.
I see you, starving, homeless men, women and children of all ages, in all the streets of all the world. So many ways you ended up where you are; so easy for us to look away. I see you.
I see you, proud, brave veterans of countless wars, your health or your lives sacrificed for political or personal gains by power-hungry nations or dictators. I see you, all people of the world, clinging to the notion that war, even if it were waged for a noble cause, can bring peace. Only love can do that.
I see you, brothers and sisters who are plagued by addictions to alcohol, drugs, sex, and gambling. I see you who are hampered by mental illnesses and disorders. I see your agonizing defeats and your hard-won victories. I see your true self underneath.
I see you, man of wealth, jetting from one mansion to another, unable to voice your loneliness. I see that you believe one more home, one more big merger, will fill the restlessness and lack of fulfillment in your soul. You are bankrupt, but sadly you don’t even know it. I see your emptiness.
I see you, woman of vanity. You believe that all is well in the world as long as you are thin, beautiful and gowned in designer clothes, as long as your stock portfolio is healthy, and your children are ensconced in prestigious private schools. I see your hunger, for that which money can’t buy.
I see you, women of all the world, denied a voice or a destiny of your own, living in circumstances not of your choosing, forced to give birth to children or denied the right to make a decent life for your children, denied the right to freedom, to education, to dignity. Your heart sings a song that the world needs to hear. The world is lost without you.
I see you, the elders, our oldest men and women. You may be lucky enough to be secure in your own home, yet perhaps you’re lonely. Or you’ve worked your fingers to the bone all your life, only to struggle for food, prescriptions, housing, and some modicum of comfort in your old age. I see you.
I see you, young people, adrift in a world order you didn’t create or choose, trying to gain a foothold, trying to seek and understand love and economic stability, though you may have experienced little of those things thus far. You can’t be blamed for being cynical at a time in your life that should be idealistic, but isn't. I see you.
I see you, so many of the world’s people, lacking food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care, and any hope that you will ever have any of this. You are an essential part of our human family, though often discounted. I see you.
I see the pain of grief, guilt and fear carried by you, brothers and sisters, who are tortured, murdered, incarcerated–and the hidden costs of this to entire societies and cultures. I also see you who have tortured, murdered or otherwise perpetrated violence. Your ultimate victim is yourself.
I see you, our beloved, innocent children who are victims of terrorism, domestic violence, or who are gunned down in their classrooms as they’re learning their ABCs. All our tomorrows are diminished by the loss of your precious lives. I ache for you.
I see, too, the bubble in which I sometimes live. Forgive me.
3/6/23 I SEE YOU By Kathy Baker