Diverse City?

A Closer Look at NYC
By Margarita Diaz

New York, New York
A city of dreams
But take a closer look
Things aren’t always as they seem.

People come from afar
Some pursuing lofty goals

Others running from a past
Seeking refuge for their souls.

You see we value differences
Won’t flinch at what we see.
Where others might have stared,
We respect diversity.

But what about our thoughts?
Is there space for difference there?

Are we quick to judge our neighbor?
When they disagree, how dare!

I’m not talking about little things
That’s not respect.
We just don’t care!
I mean opinions

We are supposed to have,
Or shrink below their glares.

Who are they again?
Those judgmental types?

I’ll tell you.
Yes. I’ll dare.

They are the fearless.
They are the risk-takers.
They are the brains of their school class.

Yet quietly and without pause
Obey their thought-leaders en masse.

Not all of us, you see
But enough to make it matter.

Use your voice! They say.
But do they really mean it?
Maybe yes. Maybe no.
I oft’ suspect the latter.

Perhaps they fear the freedom
In the voicing of dissent.
One voice could empower others

To stand by what they meant.

“I like you when you think like me.”
And building community is a must.
But “I like you when we disagree,”
Is how we build our trust.

So I write about diversity
And it won’t look like all the rest.

I won’t shout, shame or preach
Or pretend I know what’s best.

Just provide a space for thinking
In the ways that matter most:
For ourselves instead of others
If you’ll let me be your host.

And while I’ll always love this city
I could stare at it all day,
It’s time I asked of you,
Have you ever felt this way?

We are such a diverse city, but can appear single-minded at times when it comes to the opinions we are supposed to have.

❓Have you ever felt this way in your city, your town or where you live?

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