Poem - Do I Judge The Poor?

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Do you judge the poor?
I know I do
For what purpose?
For justification?
For validation?
Of what?
My ego?
Yet I fail to see
The verdict has been rendered
By life
They are scorned
Forgotten
Blamed
Am I so perfect?
Blessed at birth
Shouted with arrogant superiority
Are they so flawed?
Cursed at birth
Buried under an indictment
Of inferiority
That continues to grow
Fulfilling the prophecy
That I set in motion
Who am I to sneer?
Am I so great?
What have I done with my life?
Nothing
Would Jesus say
"I never knew you"
Yes
He would
It's not too late
My heart continues to beat
Is the song about me?
Or my neighbor?
The time has come
To sing about love
About compassion
About understanding
To let love rule
Do I want to judge?
Or forgive?
It's not too late
I know how I want to live
Why is it so hard
To give?
Why is it so hard
To live
With empathy?
Why?

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Comments 35 comments

Ashantina profile image

Ashantina 5 years ago

It is difficult to put yourself in anothers shoes if you've never walked it.. "I'm only human" is the excuse. Or is it? I think when one starts to truly, and I mean truly practice gratitude for all the 'small' blessings in ones life.. then, one can begin to learn empathy.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

This more like some of your other work. It has more impact.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Ashantina - it is difficult to truly empathize when yuo've not lived it... everyone should try to work hard and help themselves but sometimes I hear comments from people who were "born on 3rd base and think they hit a triple" acting like they are self-made....

@Twilight Lawns - thank you... I'd been thinking about this for a while and it was time to post...


DonDWest profile image

DonDWest 5 years ago from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

To quote the main villian in the novel series, Confessions of the Asylum, I'm currently working on:

"Don't get angry at me, my actions are but a mere reflection upon what our society and nation values."

People bash the poor because society rewards them for doing so. Our behaviours and actions are based upon societal consequences. If we reward bad behaviour, then we'll continue to get bad behaviour. If we reward good behaviour, we'll get good behaviour. Humans are fickle. They follow the rewards.

Individual consequence is overated. Sure, individual thinking is necessary for vision and change, but without the societal consequences to accompany that individual thought, it's just a dream, or in my case, just what will remain an unpublished novel series...


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@DonDWest - thank you for the thoughtful comment. I understand all too well the impact that society at large has on the individual. My poems are an idealistic attempt to explore the concept of "what have we become." This poem was directed at me because I thought it would be more effective as a confession than as an accusation though we know that people do bash the poor and expect more out of them than they do of themselves at times. It is especially galling to see people born into wealth that is sustained by a rigged outcome passing judgment on those who are living in poverty.


imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 5 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

I read this and am reminded of a comedy benefit show hosted by Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg. The show was to raise awareness of and money for the Homeless.

Mind you this show was on maybe 15 years ago, and I'll never forget, Whoopi Goldberg said, "...we are all 10 steps from homelessness." That was so profound to me. No matter who you are, or financial situation, your life can be changed and reduced to homelessness in only 10 steps...wow!

I still have things in my home that I had when I was a struggling single mother. I decided to keep them as a reminder and a way to keep me humble, for everything else that I have may not always be.

Thank you for the hub...and the reminder!


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

This is so good - loved it.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@imatellmuva - that's right... lot's of folks are one paycheck from doom... I knew some young hotshots who were so arrogant back in the early 80's making big money in the Dallas real estate market. Turned out they were involved in with an Savings & Loan that went belly up due to fraud and they were part of it. I learned that not everything is as it seems. Thank you for your insights.

@acaetnna - thank you again! You are too good to me!


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 5 years ago

I saw a news report this morning. A family awaken to find their house on fire. They got out with their lives and nothing else. They thanks God they still had each other and then the woman said.."I never thought it would happen to us." We never know how or when something could happen to take our joy. Great, thought provoking hub.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Yes it easy to blame people for their woes. I judge people on their character not their appearance or social standing. Your poem is very well written and i enjoyed reading it. Cheers


chspublish profile image

chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

Your question 'Why?' is good question and one we should keep asking. It keeps us reflecting and remembering others' needs. Thanks for asking.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I've been poor and have faced judgmental attitudes. On the other hand I have found a certain judgmental attitude when people see me as well off--symbols such as how I dress or that fact I have books in my house has made people feel I am not one of them.


Tammy L profile image

Tammy L 5 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

Something my father-in-law used to always say, "Never judge a man for what he is until you find out what made him that way." He used to always say this too, "It doesn't matter if you eat a 12 oz porterhouse steak or a pot of beans, when you're full, you're full."


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

I like that quote above about the beans.My belief is,if you've not walked in 'their'shoes,then judge not.How do we know another's heart.When you see a homeless man/woman,on skid row,how dare we judge them.We know not how much heart ache they've been through,how long they've been out of work,what kind of addiction they have.I think some of these 'do gooders' who judge will have a great awakening someday.Thank you for a beautiful poem.

Cheers


adagio4639 profile image

adagio4639 5 years ago from Brattleboro Vermont

>"Do I want to judge? Or forgive?"<

Abraham Lincoln said,"I've always believed that mercy bears richer fruit than strict justice".

You keep good company Poet.


InspiredHippy profile image

InspiredHippy 5 years ago from Old Town, California

I am torn between relating to the judger and the judged...Both are me. Presently I am the judged and it is a bit more personal to me. I am...as always moved by your work. Thank you for being here and sharing with us. I am inspired!

Peace...Becky Jo


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago

Poet, this one was of the most thought provoking poems I have ever read. I think a lot of us judge if we admit it to ourselves, and you were bold and put it out there in words. Wonderful prose. I truly appreciate it, and it really makes one think.

Blessings,

Laurie


syzygyastro profile image

syzygyastro 5 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

This is so appropriate for these post sub prime days of the new poverty. The system as it stands is a poverty making machine. Thanks for this great poem!


chisom emmanuel profile image

chisom emmanuel 5 years ago from NIGERIA

like this thanks for sharing


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

I adore your honesty and head on look into your heart and the reality around you! Katie :)


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Dee – thank you. That’s a terrible tragedy that befell that family. We are all at the mercy of one very bad day…

@attemptedhumour – thank you. What did MLK say: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." This can also be applied to economic status.

@chspublish – thank you. The question of why is one I had to ask and it wasn’t entirely rhetorical. I know I’ve been guilty of making the same judgments.

@dahoglund – thank you. Yes judgments are made from both sides of the fence. I think jealousy and envy fuel the scorn aimed at the rich at times. Many people want to believe the most succesful among us have somehow had an advantage not available to the rest of us.

@Tammy L – thank you. Sounds like you had a very wise father. It reminds me of the scene in the movie Wall Street where Martin Sheen yells at his son “I don’t judge another man by the size of his wallet!”

@always exploring – thank you. Walk in another man’s shoes. Why is that so hard to remember? Why do we need to judge? I guess that’s why I wrote the poem.

@adagio – thank you. Ok.. what do you want from me? Ha… that is hard to imagine but if you think about things in a compassionate manner you do find yourself in good company…

@Inspiredhippy – I’ve been in both places… and to be perfectly honest some of my happiest moments were accompanied by the fewest material possessions.

@LaurieDawn – thank you so much… you know… it’s just a matter of sitting down for a few hours and thinking about these things and taking your personal hang-ups and need for justification out of the equation. Then you can begin to see life in a different light.

@syzygyastro – thank you… yeah the rich get richer… it will never change….when the opportunity for big money presents itself somebody will always strike.

@chisom emmanuel – thank you for following and commenting. Hope all is well.

@katiem – if you are going to be a “truth-seeker” you have to start with yourself. I also figure a poet needs to bare his soul to be heard…


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey

Good one, Poet! It doesn't take much to lose everything a person has, especially if they get in trouble, get sick, or are unfairly incarcerated or hospitalized for several days. If they have no family or friends close by to pay the rent, and save their clothes, furniture and all they own, they are released back into the street with nothing. What would we all do in those circumstances? Often someone in this condition is mentally ill or has a mood disorder, and not getting help for that either. Society is too quick to judge. The wealthy never have to contend with any of the above conditions, family money always "bails" them out. Independent people have a harder time living day to day life.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Jean - there are so many who are at risk of losing their ability to provide basic necessities yet somehow many people refuse to care. Luckily there are many who do care...


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Maybe it's the world that needs an education. Maybe its the US of the Apathetic. God bless!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Micky - again thank you for the consistenly kind remarks... we all need an education... eliminating the ego would be a good start but good luck for me because mine is off the charts at times.... too cocky.... WHY?


Marina Lester 5 years ago

This is an extremely honest piece which is why it is great. Because you looked at yourself with courage, and this time you didn't turn cheek to peer at your wall of virtues. True growth and greatness is witnessing the ugly too and saying, hey, I can change this. If you find it hard to give, just keep practicing. Nearly all things in life are about balance.

I was the opposite, I had and have a very giving spirit. Nothing makes me feel richer. But I had to learn my own worth and to stop being so dedicated to my inner museum of failure. Either way, you show what you're made of by going head to head with your flaws armed with your many virtues. Because you should like and be proud of who you are, but not better than others. I've learned to compare myself to myself if I must, not better than him or her, but better than I used to be. You've shown strength here, well done. There is something beautiful to add to your current virtues, laying behind your flaws... go on. Thank you for the read :D


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Marina - thank you for the kind words and yes this is an introspective piece. I have lot's of work to do concerning my tendency towards over-confidence. I don't want to be like that.... But I don't think I'm better than people. I guess I'm just happy with myself but then when I think about things such as this I realize that I have much to learn.


Marina Lester 5 years ago

There will always be much to learn, absolutely always. But isn't that wonderful? That's kinda what I was touching on in my poem Infinity. I love there will absolutely always be ways to expand and better ones self. Your writing shows how far you've come my friend, and you can expect me to keep applauding as you keep taking steps and sharing them with us in your art. I was just saying we learn from our mistakes, our flaws can be turned around into the best sort of virtue.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Marina - I truly appreciate all the kind remarks you have made on my hubs. Yes we can always learn... even when you are 52. You are opening yourself up to introspection and from what I recall that was a rare trait for people that I knew at the age of 20....


Nan Mynatt profile image

Nan Mynatt 5 years ago from Illinois

You can escape from poverty, it is possible, and it has been done. We are not created all the same with the same background, or parents. Dysfunctional families, and yet we make it and survive!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Nan - thank you for commenting. Yes it can be done... it's tough though depending on how far down the ladder you start...


CarolineVABC profile image

CarolineVABC 5 years ago from Castaic

Hello Suburban Poet!

It is true that no one wants to be judged and yet, "we all judge the book by its cover" at one time or another. That's how we pick our friends and our social circle. Yes, as much as we want to be nonjudgmental, it can be challenging sometimes, but as long as we try to understand where the other person is coming from, then it is a start:-). Thank you for sharing such a thought-provoking hub-looking forward to reading the others. Keep writing. God bless!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Caroline - thank you and hello back! I speak for myself on this one and I agree with your comment. I fall into that trap of judging the book by the cover... it's wrong yet I still go there... at times...


CarolineVABC profile image

CarolineVABC 5 years ago from Castaic

Thank you for your reply, Suburban Poet! I agree that it is very hard to be nonjudgmental, and we all do it sometimes:-). Thank you for your honesty on this one-I do appreciate it!!!:-) There's not a lot of people who would admit to being "judgemental" because they don't want to be judged themselves!!:-) Thanks again for sharing!!!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@CarolineVABC - I'm trying to be as honwst as I can because that's what the readers of poetry/prose want. It has to be compelling and if you open up then the real world comes out. There's no way I'm going to sit here and act like I'm so progressive in my thinking that I don't judge others or allow my emotions to cloud my view at times...

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