The one was tortured from youth with false accusations.
Another with unmeetable demands.
Another still with overbearing disapproval.
And yet another with unjust violence.

They were tormented with withering correction,
With insolent criticism.
With irresponsible impatience.


Pressed into that form of slavery
That expects them to fill the unfillable
The voids in the souls of their tormentors.

On and on go the tortures
Inflicted by the twisted upon
Those they consider their inferiors.
They lash out, as if such would
Heal their own suffering―
Which it never does―
Which fact they will not see
Because seeing it is to them unbearable.

The tormentors dish out more
Of what has ruined their own lives so far―
Passing it on like a virus from soul to soul,
As if having decided that what they
Had already condemned as evil
When it was done to them
Is not evil when they do it
To someone else.

And the ruin continues to cycle.
It is the way of the world―
Endless in its generations,
Yet not without its exceptions.

Not without its escapees.

For once in a while, someone dares
To see the fuller truth of this ugly-beautiful world,
And to learn the lessons that
However much evil they may have seen,
There is indeed some good here,
And certainly in Heaven above.

And further, that there is yet more
To be done in the improvement of self
In their thoughts and morals
And beliefs and deeds
And in the washing out of whatever
Bad still remains therein.

But who among we tortured―
For none of us fully escapes it here―
Who among we tortured can manage
To overcome the addicting hit of excuse
With which we have been injected―
By which we can “justify”, if we want,
Throwing out the good with the bad?

Who can fight off the temptation
To believe that having been mistreated,
We are now exempt from making
Better persons of ourselves, and from
Treating our fellow man justly?―

Who can refuse the lie
That the world now owes us
Some special concessions?―
That we are now entitled
To do as we please,
Having won such a right
As reparation for what we have suffered
At the hands of our tormentors?

Who among us has the will
To avoid such intoxicating fabrications?

As for those who do not,
I am fairly convinced that
Deep down, in a place of self-awareness
They do not usually visit,
They know what they are doing.

That is, that they know that
They have bought in,
To some degree, however small,
To the way of the monsters who tortured them,
Excusing themselves in part, at least
From the righteousness they had thought
Their tormentors ought to have had.

And this world―
This morally-stupid world―
Will tell them they deserve
To be unaccountable.

And they will buy into this
By the millions,
Going the way of those
Who have gone before.

But even so,
There are those precious few
Who prove themselves willing
To face the truth that:

Not all hatred is wicked.
Not all correction is incorrect.
Not all criticism is an attack.
Not all interactions are self-serving.
Not all adamance is insane.
Not every demand is out of line.
Not all punishment is undeserved.

And they will get triggered sometimes,
Forgetting it is so, and mistaking
The good for the bad―
The just for the unjust―
Stumbling for a time over
What ought to lift a soul up.

And we shall see whether they get up afterward.
We shall see at the end of the day whether
They manage not to rob themselves by way of excuse
Of the good they themselves might have experienced―
Of the good they might have become―
Of the good they might have invested in others.

The good will not find in their suffering
An exemption from goodness.
From humility.
From rationality.
From love.
From duty.

These are the sort who―
Like surprising fruits hidden away
In the brambles of a fallow garden―
Are so beautiful as to make
The rest of this ugly world worth it.

They are the ones
Whose maturation
Proves the wisdom
Of the design of this world
As the proper proving ground
For the next.

These are the ones who finally
Will find rest in that Heavenly Jerusalem,
Where the others, even if they were allowed in,
Would still be empty, angry, and ill-at-ease.

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