With The Same Brush

When I get angry at someone
The first thing I say shouldn’t
Insult their sexual identity,
Saying they don’t look like, dress like or act like
A woman or a man, a girl or a boy
As if that’s an insult.
It is not.
I should know better.

When I get angry at someone
The first thing I say shouldn’t
Insult their physical appearance
Saying they don’t look like, dress like or act like
A model or an athlete, or someone who gets paid to workout
As if that’s how everyone should look.
It is not.
And I should know better.

When I get angry at someone
The first thing I say shouldn’t
Insult their cultural identity,
Saying they don’t look like, dress like or act like
This group or that, this stereotype or image
As if it’s a verifiable thing or a rule.
It is not.
And I should really know better.

When I get angry at someone
The first thing I say shouldn’t
Insult their economic affluence,
Saying they don’t look like, dress like or act like
Someone wealthy or employed, viable or valuable
As if that’s the way to judge worth.
It is not.
And you’d really think I would know better.

When I get angry at someone
The first thing I say shouldn’t
Insult their intellectual appearance
Saying they don’t look like, dress like or act like
A sage or a scholar, an egghead or an expert,
As if it were possible to evaluate genius by sight.
It is not.
And GODDAMNIT, I SHOULD KNOW BETTER.

Because when you get angry at someone
The first words out of your mouth are
What you really think of them
From before you were angry
Without editing
Without filter
Without mincing words
And you may not be angry forever
But they will always know
That you’re the kind of person
Who thinks it’s okay
To judge everyone
By the same rules,
To see everyone
Through the same lens,
To paint everyone
With the same brush.

It is not.
It is not.
It is not.
And I should know better.

– Mel 

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