I Don’t Have To …

I don’t have to be told lessons learned from Hitler
To know religious persecution is tragically wrong;
I don’t have to be reminded of Stalin,
To recognize a tyrant attempting to get too strong;
I don’t have to wait for ethnic cleansing
Before seeing racism for what it is;
I don’t have to live in total poverty
Before knowing the elite is taking more than what it gives.

I don’t have to read the Constitution
To appreciate the value of a free press;
I don’t have to wait for nuclear destruction
Before war mongers I redress;
I don’t have to live through another ice age
Before science can be trusted;
I don’t have to watch economies start to crumble
Before power monopolies are busted.

I don’t have to gain your approval
Before kneeling for injustices against my brother;
I don’t have to allow continued inequalities for my sisters
Just because I was too young to stand up for my mother.
I don’t have to feign respect for the President
If, as of yet, he hasn’t earned it;
I don’t have to be taught the Golden Rule,
Every day I’ve lived, I have learned it.

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