I write a lot of poems about acceptance and individuality for a reason. I know a lot of poets and admire them all. To have the mind and dedication to pick up a cause and carry it on their back is a brave stance that I have yet to endure.

I do not believe that our differences keep us apart. It’s our refusal to accept the differences of others that keep us separated. I’m talking about men and women, whites and blacks, yellows and browns, blues and beiges, democrats and republicans, gay and straights, Christians and atheists, north and south, east and west. Observing people has led me to realize it is often fear that keeps us from willingly understanding others. If I allow you the opportunity to live as you see fit, living the way you see fit, knowing full well it is in contradiction to what I believe, am I not giving merit to what you believe thereby deminishing my own beliefs?

It’s hard to believe in God and tell a complete atheist it is okay to believe in no higher power. As a Christian it is my duty to spread the word of God, right? How can I be gay and date men or be straight and date women? How can I date women and believe in God? How could I have voted for President Bush and be a true democrat? How can I believe murder is wrong and be pro-choice? How can I be a northern atheist married to a southern baptist?

The questions I deal with in my personal life are not so different from these. I do my best to do my best and it is difficult. Unless you know me rather well, you would believe I have no opinion at all but I feel it is my responsibility to be the best example of me I can be. Because how can I persecute you having no precise definition of who I am? How can I fight for any subsequent cause when I refuse to fight to accept me? How can I pledge my allegiance to your fight when I have no understanding of what I stand for?

I believe it is important to understand who you are and feel secure in what you believe in order to justify unwavering faith in all you proclaim. Natural steps in becoming an adult calls for a sense of self that allows for a level of tolerance and decorum when encountering strange lands or simple differences. Humans have no room for judgment. Having the strength to embrace those different from ourselves is not a renouncing of our principles or beliefs systems. By understanding who you are and what you stand for, by projecting those principles into all that you do, you are being the example you want others to see and repsect and follow. This seems to me the truest way to change the world. And if not, at least the world got some good poetry out of it.

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