Tip/Thought of the Day

I Do Not Know

I do not know what it feels like to be a person of color.

I do not know what it feels like to be a man.

I do not know what it feels like to wear a uniform and serve my country.

I do not know what it feels like to be a member of the LGBTQ community.

I do not know what it feels like to be obese.

I do not know what it feels like to lose a limb.

But my humanity knows that judging by these outer shells and not the reflection of the person inside is wrong.

I do not know what it feels like to be homeless.

I do not know what it feels like to worry about where my next meal is coming from.

I do not know what it feels like to worry how I’ll take care of my child.

I do not know what it feels like to leave my country at any cost and outcome to survive.

I do not know what it feels like to have the healthcare I require withheld.

I do not know what it feels like to be bullied.

I do not know what it feels like to be frail, dependent or alone.

I do not know what it feels like to be sexually abused.

I do not know what it feels like to lose a loved one to violence.

I do not know what it feels like to lose everything in a disaster.

But my humanity knows it’s abhorrent and despicable to stand by and allow these horrifying situations to continue without intervention.

When I was a teenager, I believed that a baby teething was just as consumed, overwhelmed and focused on their pain as anyone subsumed by theirs. That hinting someone else’s hardships, anyone’s hardships, weren’t as serious or problematic was wrong. My sister, ten years my senior, just laughed. She knew how ridiculous that comment was. She knew I’d learn the truth in time.

I did. 

All struggles and hardships are overwhelming. But there’s no question some are more devastating than others. Understanding and appreciating that fact is imperative. No concerns should be diminished but some are an affront to humanity and cannot be tolerated or promoted.

I was sheltered by parents who didn’t want me to see their financial struggles or hardships.

I was sheltered by parents who wanted me to believe all have a story worth hearing.

I was sheltered by parents who welcomed everyone in our home with the same respect and dignity.

I was sheltered by parents who made a Jewish little girl believe there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish or achieve.

I learned too quickly that’s not the way the world works.

I experienced anti-gender and anti-Semitic slurs, actions and words regardless of their hopes.

I’ve never stopped agonizing over why inhumanity and horrors exist.

I keep searching for the way to end it.

As the famous saying goes -“You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”Maybe that’s true, but I do not have to experience first-hand anyone else’s specific struggles to know when something is inexcusable and wrong. We are all in this together. When one falls, and the others don’t stop to pick them up, the next fallen soul could be us. I first read this powerful poem when I paid my respects to the Holocaust Museum:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


We have all felt hatred, jealousy, anger or fear for our well being based on gender, appearance, religion, sexuality, race, who we associate with, or what we believe. I can only hope seeing how it does nothing but destroy and divide we’ll finally be encouraged to embrace our differences. Our individuality and uniqueness brings diversity, interest and new perspectives. Without them we stagnate and suffer. I do not know why this continues to occur, but I do know that as long as there are people who stand up and say, “enough!”, regardless of the consequences, it can’t flourish.


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