WHO IS GUILTY?
Who should take responsibility
For beatings and shootings and robbery?
Is it only the one who's holding the gun?
Or partly the fault of everyone?
If I stand by, and watch or gape
As an angry man, beats and rapes,
Do I contribute to the plan
To keep her under this vicious man?
As I listen to someone criticize
With words that mame or paralyze,
Do I become part of malicious gossip
'Cause I did nothing to curb or stop it?
If I see someone steal cold hard cash
With actions bold and sometimes rash,
Do I encourage the greed and the thrill
Even though my hand wasn't in the till?
If I let you watch a TV show
With guns and bloodshed from head to toe,
Am I creating that day and time
When no one feels bad about murder or crime?
When I see a co-worker stabbed in the back
And fail to do something to stop the attack,
Do I get by without shame or guilt?
Or stick in the knife with a brand new tilt?
When I see waste of water and trees
And say, "I have no control of these,"
Will I suffer less when it's dry and hot
Than those who were wasting while I was not?
I know it's hard to stand my ground
For everyone's rights--all around.
But if I don't, it's my failure to rise
Above violence, greed, waste and lies.
©Lynnette Schuepbach, September 16, 1992