Choose Kindness – a Poem

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Note: Watch the video version of this poem below.

Choose Kindness

You do not see when tears fall free
Dripping alone in cool darkness
The emptiness and apathy
Echoing in their cruel starkness

You do not see the needless frights
Induced by your invitations
The racing pulse as horror bites
Endless pounding palpitations

You do not see the worthlessness
The evil internal chorus
The heart that weeps but won’t confess
Frozen like stone yet still porous

Instead you see a painted smile
The truth concealed by stubborn lips
A laugh so big it fills the aisle
With jokes dispensed in scripted clips

You see the friend who looks quite whole
Responding fast to those in need
The generous and thoughtful soul
That props you up, helps you succeed

Since you don’t know the truth inside
The pain I choose to never share
I won’t fault you for how you chide
The thoughtless words you loud declare

I hope in time you make a change
Learn to be kind in every setting
Let love and light be the exchange
Stop careless deeds, start word vetting

Remember not all pain is seen
Your piercing barbs can cause much harm
So be the one where weak can lean
An ear to hear, protective arm

For kindness is in short supply
But each of us can do our part
If love to life we all apply
Then secret pain will soon depart

Written July 2, 2021

by Scott Ninneman

One of the most valuable things I learned from living with chronic and mental illness is how much a smile can hide. We never know what battles are being fought behind those pearly whites. Since you can never know, the only choice is to be kind, always.

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This poem reminds us that since we don't know what battles othere are fighting, we only have one choice: to be kind always.
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