Coffeehouse Poetry

Journey for Justice

On a journey to an honorable life in an dishonorable world.
i am a global citizen.
i am unique.  so is everyone else.
i am a student, a young professional, a job-seeker.  i have dreams.

i need a job.  a job that matters.
i have student loans to pay off, responsibilities.  i am scared.
i want to live and work in the developing world.  how i do get started?
i want to live near home, but change the world.  what should i do?

i have a job, but it’s for money, not meaning.
i have the skills to build a better world, but i need to earn money.
is a meaningful job out of reach for me?  how can i find a better job?

i study hard, but classrooms aren’t solving the world’s problems.
i am bursting with desire to do something real.
i am learning a lot in school, but i still don’t feel ready for the workplace.

i struggle between tradition and the unknown.
i want to be taken seriously.

i help whenever i can.  i volunteer.  

i want to do more than grunt work.

i want mentors and colleagues to show me the ropes.
i want to work for a kickass social enterprise.

i’m a humanitarian.  i feel called to make a difference.
if i don’t get involved, who will?

with all the crazy bad stuff in the world, i must do something good.
do i have to be good to do good?

i hate injustice.  inside, i think we all do.

poverty is ridiculous.  so pointless, so completely unnecessary, so unfair.
i want to get rid of it, but that’s not all i want out of life.
i also want to find a partner, maybe have kids.  definitely make money.

i am sick of preachy people, even if they represent good causes.
i don’t believe anyone who says doing good is easy.  i know that’s not true.
i’d like to hear an honest, tough, sexy solution to poverty.
if i don’t, i might have to invent my own.

i want to make people healthier.
i want to bring clean water to everyone on earth.
i want to give every kid a good education.
i want to feed the world.

i want to be the voice of the voiceless.
i want to inspire someone, maybe even everyone.

i am all about action.
i know power is knowledge, money and politics.  how do i plug in?

i can learn from you.  you can learn from me.
we can work together.  we can start something real.

i am inspired by others.
i think older people can teach me things.  but not everything.
i am happiest when i am part of something big.
the work matters more than i do.  but i matter too.

i want to live differently.
i want to meet people who care about what i care about.
i want new friends with my values.  i want time to fall in love.
i want passion in my career — and in my bed.
i won’t settle.

i am self-confident. some days not as much as others.
i take risks.  i want to take more.
failure is hard though.  what comes after failure?

i like conversations, not lectures.
i like listening.  i like being heard.

i have lots of good ideas and probably some crappy ones too.
i’m not yet sure which are which. help me find out.

standing still drives me crazy.
we don’t have time for that!

i know there are people dying.  kids are going hungry.
there are places falling apart.
And i am pissed about it.

fuck injustice.
and fuck you if you say we can’t do something about it.

i put people first.

change is what i am meant to do.

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Note: Baby Boomer Jonathan Lewis (our host) and Millennial Generation-er Chantal Sheehan (the executive producer) collaborated in 2011 to author this poem under the original title “who is i?”