Society's Shades

If the value of human life is regarded so highly, why are millions left to suffer in silence simply because they too are alive?

Can you see us?  Can you hear, even if faintly, our feet shuffling restless in the gloom?  Do you know what battles we fight, battles that seem so far away but in truth are too close for comfort?  So close that they must be blocked out and replaced with something fake and meaningless?

Just as Kings and Queens of old were born into their thrones, others were brought screaming into a world of polar opposites and painful contradictions, where unfairness and lack was the law of the land.  Where corruption was allowed to flourish or worse, encouraged, considered the only way it could ever be, where the needs of the few consistently outweighed the needs of the many, and where the bottled up frustration of innumerable oppressed people became too much and someone pulled the cork and let it devastate the order that was left.

In that state, a gathering of many humans holds the fury and need of a swarming hornet's nest, with no where near the unity.  It holds the blind stampede of the herd, with no regard for safety or peace.  
When we allow ourselves to take just a few steps backward, the cost is great indeed. And while some are born into their fate of fighting and not having, others were proud or happy once, but fell.

For one reason or another, their fault or someone else's greed.
So many ways to cope, from destructive to beautiful, so much to lose and to hope for. But one thing never changes: we are all human, rich or poor, remembered or shunned, altruistic or animalistic.
If the value of human life is regarded so highly, why are millions left to suffer in silence simply because they too are alive?
Society's shades are as alive as any but often dead inside, waiting and waiting where others have moved on.  Sometimes they flee and sometimes they fight, and sometimes they do nothing at all, just sit there in the cold, bellies aching for real food, assaulted by their own turned mean and desperate, weakened by sickness, haunted by persistent memory.
Hand-me-downs, makeshift beds, thunderstorms and sunny days spent numbly wishing for the world to end.  Cultures fueled by lies, unseen miracles, stereotypes and tables turned. 
Caught in the gap between promise eternal and the hell within, plenty of us also suffer at our own hand, but it never is just one thing or another.  As hard as it is to understand, there's always a deeper story.
Power corrupted wants those less fortunate--or simply in the way--out of sight and out of mind, but they will never be forgotten.
No matter how ugly or desirable, hiding reminders of your own demons will never make them go away.  Society's shades are outcasts, forsaken to wild and lonely places, to the corners and scummy crannies of civilizations that look, from the outside in all their superficial glory--perfect.
They are every color, every age and gender, every origin, ghosts of aspirations grand and humble.
Leaders and liars of every sort promise to end their pain, to provide a way out of ignorance, decay, and although some mean it and progress is made, the quietest are always shut out in the rain.  They are feared and abhorred for having less or looking different or wanting to be better than what they are.
So many good people, preoccupied making things right with their own lives, have little time or resources for society's shades because they are frighteningly close to the same fate.  So many careless people, high on arrogance and low on compassion, treat them as little more than vermin.
So many in between, trying and not trying for a day when the senseless suffering will end.  The world goes on and how it changes, but some things never do.

We are shades, making fires in the dark, living and dying, loving and lying, just like you.

The End

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