By Rande S. Sotomayor

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It was a new year,
And all through the land,
People were scurrying,
For all they had planned.

With joy and great cheer,
They hoped Covid had passed.
Tragedies, losses,
They never could last.

But then Mother Nature,
Or those she had trusted,
Spawned even more challenge,
Have people been “busted?”

What have we done,
As caretakers, trustees?
Lost our place and our duty,
So we do as we please.

The oceans, now plastic,
Air and water are laced,
The forests, denuded,
Homes near nuclear waste.

Lightning-fast contact,
Fear, anger, and drugs,
Threaten our species,
Same as viral bugs.

These years have borne witness,
As many before,
To hatred, injustice,
Bad weather, and war.

Rudeness and violence
Keep shaking the world.
Ego, power, and bullies:
Our worst nature unfurled.

But amid all the ruin,
Both present and past,
Reporters now cover
Much kindness at last.

An easy solution,
It takes so many forms,
But at its foundation,
True KINDNESS transforms.

There’s no need to argue,
There’s no attack here,
Let’s try understanding,
Ask questions, be clear.

Everyone needs
To explain and be heard,
Beliefs and convictions
Can remain undisturbed.

This can be one by one,
Each step is a leap.
The more understanding,
The better we sleep.

I imagine the day,
Respect and honor return,
Fear and judgment abate,
But first we must learn.

Take our eyes off the screen,
And turn to our friends,
Explore what’s important,
Time to make some amends?

Let’s listen intently,
Have lively debate,
Taking care of each other,
Before it’s too late.