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You Are Not Awful

Kari is a compassionate and empathetic individual. She loves the earth and all its life. She is a believer in the dignity of each of us.

Girl looking through rain-streaked window.

Girl looking through rain-streaked window.

Supporting the Underdogs

I have always supported the underdog. As a teenager I could not figure out why my life was so good while others' lives were so difficult and unpleasant. I felt guilty about this fact.

As I grew older I stopped feeling as guilty about having a good life. My life became marred by many difficult and painful experiences. I refused to let these times hamper my happiness. However, this refusal drains me of my energy.

I find myself less able to fight for the underdogs of this world. I still care, but it is harder to stand up for them. The problems seem so big and I seem so small.


I become overwhelmed by the needs of others. I need to look at things sideways because seeing the truth head-on causes me pain. I squint at reality using tunnel vision, hazing out the edges of the picture, trying to cope with the truth.

All those cliches about truth are correct. Truth is cold and stark. But truth is both cruel and loving. We give each other the truth because we care.

So often it seems we do not care. But, in reality, we care too much. We do not like the feelings of helplessness caring causes us. So, we look away.

You Are Not Awful

I don't look away because you are awful.

I look away because of the pain the sight gives me.

I know that could be me but for the varies of life.

I don't close my ears because you have nothing to say.

I close my ears because what you say hurts too much to hear.

I don't remain silent because I don't care.

I remain silent because the task of saving you is so big.

I don't know where to start, or how long till it ends.

Your hurt makes me feel small and helpless.

So I look away.

I close my ears, and

I remain silent.

Hoping your hurt is not catching,

I go my own way.


I feel bad because I have less energy to stick up for the downtrodden of this world. I still try to help the outsiders, but I think I begin to turn away too often. Compassion seems harder now than when I was younger.

© 2021 Kari Poulsen

Your Thoughts

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on May 17, 2021:

Brenda, thank you! You are right. And sometimes it hurts so much to turn away. But, we need to look away to save ourselves.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 16, 2021:


This is a fantastic poem.

It is so hard sometimes, but that feeling is there and it is strong.

We often feel helpless & sad. We turn the other way to save our own souls or feelings.

Great writing.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on May 16, 2021:

Misbah, you are so right a drowning person can't save anyone. I do feel selfish when I put myself above others. But now I can see how it's not selfish at all. Thank you!!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on May 16, 2021:

Pamela, sometimes it is hard to watch another live their consequences. I want to step in and help, but that doesn't help either one of us. Thank you for commenting!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on May 16, 2021:

FlourishAnyway, thanks, you make a great point. We all are doing what we can to help. We cannot help everything but we can help some. Thank you!

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 15, 2021:

You cannot save everyone and everything. Sadly, you have to make choices to focus your caring on one or two good causes and take care of your own psychological welfare. I give until it hurts to feral cats. Not homeless people or kids with cancer or polar bears as much as I may think those causes have merit. I can only do so much myself and I am at peace with that.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 15, 2021:

This is a good article and poem, and I think I understand your frustration. Sometimes we do need to let people simply live with their consequences of their own actions. Those who love us support us and loving them back is easy. It takes a lot of energy to cope with those people who drain all of our energy.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on May 14, 2021:

Kari, this is a well expressed article and poem. You said it true, truth is both cruel and loving. I believe we should always stay true. Because to hide one lie we have to say 100 more lies.

Sometimes it is important to walk away from those people who makes us weak.

I believe the ones who loves you makes you stronger. People who makes you weak are never the ones you should worry about. I can feel it.

People may call you selfish for doing this but tell them a drowning person cannot help another person.

Sometimes it is good to stand for yourself. Don't forget that you also exist.

You scribbled it very well

Much Love and take care

Blessings and Peace

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