Letter to the “Editor”

To the one whose name I do not know….

I’m grateful for the life that’s been given to me,
the events which were set in motion to mold me,
and the people you’ve set in place to show me


While I ask that you excuse me if things aren’t quite clear,
I hope you recognize my sincerity.
Although I ask you to forgive me if I don’t quite get it,
at least I acknowledge your existence.

I’ve been given

Names, stories and images I don’t believe,
told I can’t be friends with people who aren’t just like me,
told that there’s only one. Maybe not, maybe so,
and that 99% of the world is doomed to go,
to a place that no man would ever wish to tread,
while just 1% gets to live happily.

Names, stories and images I can’t believe,
Genocide was justified cause “they” wouldn’t receive.
told that “they” were mistaken, and “cleansing” they did need,
and that somehow you approved of their “holy” deeds.

I was raised to be, part of that 1%,
but my eyes were opened by people who’d contradict,
things which were imposed on me, by that 1% (you follow?)

I’ve met people from, the other 99,
who’ve shown more kindness toward their fellow human beings,
than any 1% person that I’d ever seen.

Times when the 1% would look away,
the 99, would choose to stay.
When the 99 would have arms open wide,
the 1% ,would stand on the other side,
aggressively, denying the 99:
claiming that somehow still,
they were in the right.

I used to feel confused,
but now I feel my truth.
Help as I strive to rise,

above it all to get to you.

Above all the noise,

Above the politics, the lust for control,
the messages that assert superiority.

The things that corrupt the message.

To the one whose name I cannot speak…

I’ll do good in this life that you’ve bestowed to me,
and live in such a way, that others will see.
How good you’ve been.


Grace & Peace,

From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW



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Written by

I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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4 Responses

  1. swgrrl78 says:

    Breathtakingly lovely. Those words tried to sprinkle some chili pepper in my eyes, but I squeezed them drops back in..

    • Thank you! I’m glad they made an impact. I actually wrote this back in 2008, and rediscovered it again after looking through some old things. I think it’s just as timely for me now as it was back then.

  2. ‘While I ask that you excuse me if things aren’t quite clear,…’

    Is there a need to write a letter to maybe the ‘Operator’ in guiding us to operate to stay strong and positive within the 99% & the 1%?

    It could be good to have the company of that 1% who turn away or the 99% whom we are made to think we do not belong to ~ to make us realise the reality of the world around us ~ because it is in the darkness we realise the reality and beauty of the light!


    • Thanks for your wonderful comment Manisha! I also thank you for reading, and supporting this blog by sharing my posts with others! I definitely agree that it would be good to have the groups come together. Much of my work in my professional life and in my personal life is about finding ways to heal and reconcile the tensions that exist between groups. This is a lifelong process and just because a solution might sound simple does not necessarily make it an easy one to accomplish. Yet the work is still so necessary and valuable!

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