Today, the innocent often bear the brunt of the disastrous consequences of ignorant political and social decision making. Here’s a poem about bearing the brunt.
How come it is always the vulnerable and meek who bear the brunt of society’s woes? How come those in power don’t suffer the consequences of their bad decisions? Is it survival of the fittest at the most basic level?
In wars, civilians and kids die, loose limbs,
though they did not partake,
In financial crisis, social projects fall off,
though those who need them did not cause the money woes.
In oppression, through the abuse of power, the powerless bear the brunt,
though they did not contribute to any abuse.
On schoolyards and in work places, victims of bullies crumble,
though they did not look to be mobbed.
In homes, the abused struggle to survive,
though they were only seeking happiness.
In nature, fragile creatures break and die,
though they seek to live just as much as the robust.
In ourselves, we trample on our own fragility.
Seek to choke it out and inflate ourselves.
Flee from it, ignore it, and pretend it’s not ours.
Just so that we never bear the brunt or get the raw end.
In a different time and place, we could perhaps begin by honouring our fragility. Starting with our own vulnerability, placing it at the centre, we might then recognize the suffering of others.
Stand up for the defenseless,
and the powerless.
Because we’re all but a tragedy away from disaster.
Here but for the grace of God.