I am You

Submitted into Contest #45 in response to: Write a story about change.... view prompt


Creative Nonfiction

I am black. 

I am white. 

I am of many nationalities, many are my national identities. My dwellings span from the scorching heat of the Saharan summers to the unforgiving daggers of the Arctic winters.

I come in various shapes and sizes, my skin, hair, and eyes are of many wonderful colors. I live all across the globe, my feet walk over dirt and grass, pavement and asphalt, they walk over marbled floor tiles and soft carpets. Sometimes I walk barefooted, sometimes I wear boots and slippers, polished shoes, and crumbling plastic sandals. 

I walk with pride and I walk with shame.

I feel. 

I fear. 

I love, hate, and dream. 

I hurt when I am beaten and I bleed when I am cut. I always bleed the same color, though, interestingly. And it always hurts.

I laugh when I am happy, I cry when I’m in grief. I feel gratitude and compassion when I love and am loved, and I feel anger and resentment when I hate and am hated.

I eat when I am hungry, sleep when I am tired, I shiver when I am cold and sweat when I am hot.

I speak in many ways, I know a lot of words. A lot of names for a lot of things. Some names that I know are nicer than others, while some I’d rather never have heard. Or spoke.

I have many different opinions and perspectives of the world, each of them unique, but none of them true nor false. They are just my personality, my personal reality

I am bright and clever, serene, and joyful. I am caring and industrious, stupid, and cruel.

I am human. That is who I am. And that is who you are, too.

Not two of me are alike, and yet not two of me are different. 

I may look different than you, but I still have a heart. I may speak differently than you, but I still have a soul. My thoughts and opinions, desires and preferences, fears, and dreams may be different from yours, but if we sat down and talked for a while, we’d realize that deep down, we stem from the same seed. 

We may walk on a different ground, wear different shoes, but we both walk on Earth.

We may speak in different tongues, have different names for the same thing, but we both need air to breathe.

We may laugh and cry at different things, but we both want to love and be loved, even though we’ve been scarred by life and led to believe it is hate that we want.

So you see, you and I are really not that different. Not where it matters, anyway.

The problem is that we’ve been led to believe that we are, in fact, different, where it matters. You’ve been told that I am horrible. Despicable. Diabolical, a demon to be exorcised from this world. And you believed it. Even came up with some of your own judgments, some of your own reasons why you should hate me. And in all that hate you never realized that you are actually me. That we are the same, and could never be different since there is no such thing. 

Difference is what we both created artificially. Difference does not exist out there in the real world. It is a projection of our minds, our egos. 

There is no such thing as tall or short. There is only the perfect height.

There is no such thing as black or white. There is only skin, clothing to protect the body’s sensitive flesh from the elements.

There is no such thing as national or foreign. There is only family. A family of humanity, whose home is Earth.

You do realize, that all hate, blame, and demonization that you do, is all aimed at yourself? When you hate your neighbor, you hate yourself. That neighbor is merely you, living life his or her way, no different than what you are doing. When you demonize a foreigner, you demonize yourself. To that same person, you are the foreigner.

We are all one. One race, one organism, one being. When you kill another, it is the same as killing your own body cells. Would you destroy parts of yourself? Deliberately cut off your arms and legs, cause suffering to yourself, on purpose, with full knowing and awareness of your actions?

No, you could never do that. That would be the opposite of love, which is your true nature. You were not made to hate and kill, because all there is, is you. And you are love.

You are no different than your fellow man or woman. Sure, on the surface this may not be apparent to you, but that is only because you are blind. You are blind with the lies you were fed with, and you are blind with your selfish survival. You fear anything that appears different from you since it is unknown, unfamiliar and therefore considered a threat, rather than an opportunity. But if you were to sit down, close your eyes, forget about your body for a moment, which is only the outer expression of your inner undying self, and connect with that emptiness that follows, you would realize something. You would realize that there is no such thing as you. You, that beautiful, individual, and unique you, is only an illusion. It is just the wrapping on a piece of candy. When you take off the wrapping and peek inside, you see that we are all the same. Inside, we are all shining balls of love, wrapped in the paper of genetics and painted by the brush of society.

Just like the whole universe is said to have come from a single tiny dot, so did all of humanity come from a single mother. 

What will it take for you to realize that racism, demonization, and hate is not just toxic and unhealthy, but flat out stupid and hurts you just as much as it hurts the other? If not more? Because again, there is no other. There is only you. You are demonizing and hurting yourself.

How blind and myopic and arrogant it is for the ego to nitpick about something as innocent as skin color. We divide our tiny humanity into smaller chunks, fighting, and bickering between each other while turning a completely blind eye on the fact that there is an entire universe of potential alien species out there. Real races. Real differences from human beings, not just different clothing on the same mannequin. Not just brothers and sisters, but actual foreigners. Non-humans. 

I for one, cannot wait for you to finally meet an alien. If nothing else, then to see the expression on your judging face, when you finally realize how wrong you were. How familiar, homey, and welcoming will a black man appear to a white man, when humanity is faced with an intelligent creature from outer space who does not speak with its mouth, does not see with its eyes, does not love with its heart? A creature with a concept of life so different from our own, that it deems humanity as nothing more than moss growing on a rock. Does it need to come to such extreme examples for you to finally get it?

Does humanity need to face destruction to realize it's foolishness? To finally unite as one?

Perhaps it does. Perhaps we do. 

Only, it doesn’t have to be that way. Humanity has a choice. You have a choice. 

You can defend in fear and hate your outdated, ungrounded, and unjustified beliefs, or you can reach out with love and understanding, open yourself up to new experiences and new possibilities. It is as simple as that.

If only you would realize that choice. If you did, if you participated in your actions with full awareness and consciousness, then I’m willing to bet that you could not continue to choose hate any longer. You would drop on your knees and beg forgiveness, for you would understand. 

You would understand, that the only one you are hurting, is yourself.

It is time for you to stop ignoring the most potent power you have been given as a human. The power that nothing and nobody else in the universe seems to have, as far as we know. And that is the power of choice.

You can decide, right now, how you are going to respond to the reality outside of you. Animals can only act according to their instincts. Plants don’t even have that. Let alone rocks. But you, you are a human. You can choose.

And the choice, simple, yet profound, is this: Will you think for yourself, listen to the deep wisdom inside you and act according to your heart? Or will you be a sheep, following the herd and walking off a cliff? A leaf blowing in the wind of prejudice, dogma, and beliefs that are so outdated they belong to the middle ages, if not further back, to where man was but a primate? 

The choice is yours. As it is mine. As it is everyone else’s.

Are you going to continue to be white, black, or some other label?

Or will you step up, and be human?

Because, in the end, that is who you are.

Who we all are.

June 08, 2020 10:42

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A. Y. R
14:41 Jun 08, 2020

I've said it before, but I'll say it again, that story was so damn poetic! And you've got the second person narrative executed really well! I really feel like I'm hearing my own inner voice screaming out to me, so that's written really well!


Harken Void
14:46 Jun 08, 2020

Thanks, Ace! I'm glad you heard yourself in it, and thanks for your suggestions earlier!


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Katy S.
19:20 Jun 08, 2020

This is really beautiful, and carries such a strong message.


Harken Void
19:44 Jun 08, 2020

Thank you, Khadija!


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Sayani Sarkar
18:20 Jul 03, 2020

Wish everyone could understand this very simple thing that you've written beautifully. I feel we as humans have complicated lives so much, the immense pressure to live in a society,that we ourselves have created. It's just strange how we've all gone so far from the most basic and simple understanding.


Harken Void
21:30 Jul 03, 2020

I wish so as well. On one side we've never lived in a more prosperous era as we do today (with all the benfits of technology and taking care of the basic necesities, such as water and shelter), though on the other hand, we've never been as lost as we are now. Mistaking society for a trustworthy guide, materialism for a god, and difference cause for demonization. Glad you liked the story :)


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