Common Ground

We set ourselves apart

build walls and barriers

to protect us from what we do not understand

to keep out all we are unwilling to accept

to preserve our sense of self.

We project ideals and ideas onto those we encounter

as we do our failures and weaknesses.

I have often found

when I disapprove of a trait, judge an action

disagree with a choice

I am also guilty in some part.

I see in everyone, bits and pieces of me

that I have not yet adequately addressed

perhaps I dislike these fragments of myself

feel uncomfortable

or they make me angry

less dignified.

If I am to make changes

I should note these projections

inspect my psyche

and weed out my failings and flaws first—

admit to my weaknesses

for these are the wounds that lie beneath the flesh

still tender to the touch.

We are all looking for ourselves in each other

and when we find that person staring back at us

we do not always like what we see

nor are we meant to do so

—we must ask ourselves why.

We are all mixed up pieces of each other

in a world that doesn’t want us to recognise

our similarities, our common ground

and so often—

we love in others what we like in ourselves

we hate in others what we dislike in ourselves.

These lessons are for learning

These pieces are part of us all

to be recognised, attended to, and forgiven

nobody is ever wholly right

and nobody is ever entirely wrong

and nobody is ever pure or perfect

on common ground.

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