Portfolio of Hope

Poised on the starting line
we stand
side by side
feet against the blocks
shoulders touching shoulders
waiting for the gun to fire
small talk doing little to mask
our nervous energy.
But still, we try…
You comment on the weather-
I comment on your hair-
I guess we must be friends now-
The gun sounds,
bullet released-
‘niceties’ gone.
Now we don’t care about each other.
Now we’re not friends,
never have been.
Now we are athletes
competing against each other
in the hardest,
race of our lives-
the human race-
in which we will do anything to win…

I wrote this poem after thinking about the nature of humanity/
the nature of ‘the human condition’
(as you do on a Saturday afternoon).
The human condition that is, no matter how much we pride ourselves on our ‘selflessness’-
one of inherent selfishness.
We are all so caught up in our own lives/
so caught up in, to use today’s popular phrase,
‘aligning with our highest self’,
that we, albeit unknowingly much of the time, do things that hurt the people whom we claim to care so much about…

You see, people will act like they care, and yet, they will forget about you at the drop of a hat if they think that doing so will let them, ‘get one up on you.’
Not our fault, though, this is a symptom of society
jealousy and insecurity rife-
a society which constantly makes us feel like we’re not good enough/
that makes us feel like we need to compete to be the absolute best at X,
‘there is only room for one person to succeed here-
&, you better make sure that it’s you.’

Why we think like this, I don’t know. Though we all, evidently, need to stop taking our position as part of the human ‘race’ so literally

Human ‘beings‘ not human ‘doings‘,
we are not in a race
with anyone

Life is not a race.

There is room for everyone to take up space
& to thrive in the world.

Please don’t let society convince you otherwise.


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