The faces we see on a daily basis,
Familiar though we don’t really know their stories.
The faces in frames on our living room wall,
We may not see them daily but their stories are embedded in our own.
The contacts on our phone
Scrolling past people we once spent many hours with
While other phone numbers seem impossible to forget.
The people we were in the same class with
The kids we loved to gossip about
The cleaning lady who works at the same building
The ones who voted differently from us
The ones we partnered with to make magic happen
The ones we can’t stand.
These are our contemporaries
The ones we found along our path,
Some encounters were fleeting (thank God)
While others will last a lifetime (thank God).
Ultimately, regardless of the depth of the relationship
It is these people, who were alive at the same time as us
That we are fighting for.
In the quest for a better world
It is important to remember that our destinies are intertwined
And that dehumanising the ones we disagree with
Or failing to hold accountable the ones we are in step with
Only weakens the fabric of the society
We all inhabit.
Our contemporaries are the ones that interact first with our raw ideas
The ones who will consume our products
Who will suffer from our greed and cowardice
And benefit from our generosity.
We are each others’ litmus test for progress.
We love to speak of the future impact of our work
And how we are building a world for our children,
But ultimately it is our contemporaries –
Our fellow citizens of today’s world
Who will experience the reality of what we are becoming
In real time.
Fight for them too.