By C.L. Harmon

When we choose to not understand or have empathy for those who suffer, we fail. We fail on every level and have no one to blame but ourselves. We are created to be our brothers’ keepers and yet we continue to choose ourselves over them. We would rather win than compromise, trip than step back and curse rather than listen. We are the enemy within which destroys what is meant to be.

Leaders choose egos over solutions while followers choose sides instead of sacrifices. We build weapons instead of homes and amass control in place of compromise. We accept greed as common places while countless deteriorate from hunger. And yet we claim to be civilized. We destroy life over plots of dust and rubble that hold no value in eternity and still never learn that our possession of it is always fleeting.

We lust for more and instead of being grateful for what we have. We place value in trinkets and paper and yet and never marvel at the miracle of the seeds which are perfectly designed to grow and give us the sustenance to live. What we should value has become lost to us in our search for a treasure that offers us no life, no love and no redemption. And yet we claim to be a civilized people.

We fail because we no longer see ourselves in others. Their suffering, we distance from ourselves, and ours they distance from themselves. Someone else’s hunger is not ours. Another’s sorrow is ignored instead of embraced, others’ fears become problems in which we choose not become involved and yet we call ourselves civilized. Until we become the keeper of others, we will never truly know what it is to be civilized and as long as we continue pretending to be civilized, we will fail to ever become our brothers’ keepers.