I wrote this poem in 2017, a few days before my 16th birthday. I poured my heart into it, but never shared it anywhere.

Because of world events going on right now, I thought it was the right time for me to share this.

We have two choices: to rise together or fall together, either way.

Here on earth, we are all together.

Rise Together

No matter what you have been through

No matter what you have done

We need to learn to rise together

Rise together as one

No matter what it is that goes

No matter what it is that comes

We need to learn to rise together

Rise like the morning sun

No matter our differences

No matter our beliefs

We need to learn to rise together

And help our friends in need

No matter the heartache

No matter the hurt you hold

We need to learn to keep our faith

Say yes, even when the world says no

Yes I am beautiful

And yes I am strong

I am everything I need to be

And I still believe in love

No matter the yesterdays

No matter the struggles you’ve faced

Your life can change at any moment

And a new point of view is all it takes

No matter what you have been through

No matter what you have done

We need to learn to rise together

Rise together as one

They want to see us separated

Hating each other and making divisions

For the way that we live

And where we have been

Different religions

And the color of our skin

They want to see us fight each other

But no one ever wins

We all feel the same grief inside

Living our lives like this

And if they want to see us crying

I’ll wipe the teardrops from my face

What are these lies?

Should I be buying

Into what the people say?

Should I be hiding?

Should I be afraid?

Should I be worried

That I am not truly safe?

Will I just wait for the next leader to come and save the day?

And hope that my vote really counts

When I become of age?

But why must we live like this?

We’re stuck in our own way

No wonder so many are depressed

And just pushing past their days

Why do we surrender

To just following along?

Just wearing the same clothes

Listening to the same songs?

Why do our dinner tables

Hold cruelty in every bite?

We don’t think about how our food use to have heartbeats

And had suffered all their lives

No wonder so many get diseased

And wait for someone to find the cure

Why don’t we ever stop to think

You know there must be something more?

I could feel the sunshine on my skin

But instead I’m trapped inside

Inside a tiny classroom

Just trying to pass the time

Not being judged by what I can do

But from what I can memorize

It’s a test to see who can best

Draw inside the lines

I’m not sure it’s the way it should really be

That intelligence isn’t judged by wisdom

It’s judged by a degree

But maybe we need pain to grow

The same way flowers need rain to grow

And sometimes being lost

Leads us to where we’re meant to go

And we only truly enjoy the highs

When we know the lows

So maybe consciousness has slipped

So that we can gain it back

And feel it vastly deeper

Than any species ever has

So we must stand hand in hand

And help each other break down our walls

‘Cause if we don’t learn to rise together

Then together we will fall

Why can’t we just relax?

Why can’t we learn to smile?

Why can’t we learn to laugh?

And see through the eyes of a child?

Why can’t we be open to change?

Why are we so closed off?

Why can’t we help our neighbors

Not for any reason but just because?

Why can’t we feel the oneness

Within us and the whole earth?

Why can’t we open up our hearts

And learn what we are worth?

Why do we look outside ourselves

For what already lies within?

Why do we treat the environment

As if we have another place to live?

As if it’s indestructible

And it will always give?

We search for intelligent life somewhere else

Yet leave the animals here imprisoned

When will we understand that every choice

Comes with a price to pay?

And we have the chance to use our voice every single day

Let’s stop changing the world

And start changing our brains

Start changing the way we treat the world

Start changing our own ways

When will we fall in love with souls

Seeing much more than eyes can see?

Seeing what is beautiful

The light that’s shining underneath

And we won’t need to search so hard

Just to be able to feel

No longer looking for an easy fix

That can never heal

When will we realize simple acts of kindness

Aren’t so hard to do?

And though it may seem like a little thing

The difference it makes is huge

Why do we wait to get to heaven

When it’s right under our feet?

We’re never at peace in the moment

So we wait to Rest In Peace

Why don’t we look up to the stars

And simply feel amazed?

Why don’t we wonder who we are

And how we became?

Why don’t we ever realize

That we are all the same?

We are all God

Acting out a play

Why must we live with fear

With ego and greed?

But money is just paper

Made out of cut down trees

And I wonder how much more symbolic could that be?

Is there hope for a better world?

I ask and hear replies

Some people say no

And why would we even try?

But I still hear some people

Who have faith in that dream

And their faith is a stronger force

Than the one of disbelief

So we need to learn to rise together

Rise together as one

Rise to create that better world

Full of love

For us all

Because if we don’t learn to rise together

Then together we will fall.