Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-identity March 15, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:04 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hovered over the computer

you groan about how you’ve been screwed up

by school schedules that don’t let you take

the courses you need to graduate.

Something from grade nine,

another from grade ten,

a couple from grade eleven,

how can you fit it in twelve?

School’s fault.

Not your fault, of course.

Never your fault

for not coming to class,

for not doing your work,

for not taking advantage of offers to help

for not being respectful of your peers

for not accepting support,

for not passing the courses.

One or two (or three or four)

missed credits each year.

It’s the school’s fault.

Of course, it is.

Everything is hard for you.




You strike the question,

a damning indictment.

I will tell you,

though you won’t hear:

This is why:

Because you don’t see that

you choose.

You choose

to work.

You choose

to fail.

You choose.

Until you choose

to be responsible

for every choice,

to admit you failed because you chose

not to work,

not to accept help,

not to accept the consequences of

your choices,

life will always

seem unfair.

It’s not life that’s unfair.

It’s you who is refusing

to own your reality.

Accept responsibility for yourself.

What are you afraid of?





19 Responses to “poem-identity”

  1. frankregan17 Says:

    I can imagine the student/students attitude that led you to write this and unfortunately I also know a few 45 year old who still behave like that.
    Great poem Shawn.

    • Yup.
      I also know a few people who woke up one day in later life, decided they were going to choose to look on the positive from that day on, and that choice of attitude means every set-back becomes an opportunity. Their positive glow draws people other positive people to them and unexpected things happen!

  2. jensenempire2551 Says:

    What about those teacher years ago, not catching the abuse happening @ home, believing it’s just the child’s lack of learning or distant day-dreams, possibly drug abuse at age of nine to hid the feeling of not understanding…

    How fault the child?

    Whom doesn’t know right from wrong?

    You tell me teach, maybe now i’ll understand!

    • Everyone has his/her own story, but we are ALWAYS ultimately responsible for ourselves and our choices. It’s OUR life.

      Sure, mental illness or addiction make good choices more difficult, but even bad choices are still choices. It’s the nature of maturity to acknowledge that no one else is in charge of our lives. We tell someone about abuse until something changes. We check into rehab. Or we don’t. I find that as soon as kids accept responsibility, everything changes for them.

      • jensenempire2551 Says:

        Yeah, but about those so young they really have no understanding. i know now a days, things are much different, just so sad that in those past years they knew only never did anything!

      • I recently learned that a relative of mine had been routinely beaten by his dad. In the course of the conversation it became clear that he thought everyone knew what was going on. We knew his dad was a jerk and occasionally drank too much, but we had no idea all the things he described were going on. I was appalled. This young man made choices not to follow the addictions and violence of his parents. He is now earns several hundred thousand dollars a year; he owns several properties. He is married and has children. When his alcoholic relatives visit he has clear borders. If they screw up by drinking or doing drugs, he shuts down the visit. They’re instantly gone. They get another try when they can make better choices. He’s now in his forties, and he is a credit to the power of taking charge of one’s life and redesigning the course his parents set him on.

      • jensenempire2551 Says:

        It is as simple as not doing what was done to you, however that man cannot say doesn’t fight it day to day! If does he’s lying…

      • He didn’t fall into the habits. I know lots of kids who don’t do what their parents do. I have friends whose parents were heavy smokers, but they never smoked at all. I know kids whose parents drank, and they never do. Sometimes one sibling does, but the other doesn’t. One never starts knowing there’s a family history of addiction, so it doesn’t get a chance to take hold. There is no ‘one size fits all.’

      • jensenempire2551 Says:

        i will agree too agree!

  3. davidprosser Says:

    Taking ultimate responsibility for ourselves and our actions- or lack of them- is usually the first step into adulthood. Kids manage that from different ages and some don’t manage it at all choosing to go through life blaming someone else all the time. I know teachers can encourage kids in that direction but ultimately it will depend on the kid’s degree of maturity, the responsibility for which often lies at home. Have the parents allowed the child any decision making in their own life, or forced decisions on them?
    Cwtch Shawn xxx

    • Absolutely true.
      In this case, the child is actually a government ward, and still blaming others or making excuses that don’t own up to personal responsibility.
      “Cwtch” is a good metaphor for the place of mind required.

  4. matt Says:

    I love this. We all need this understanding, but education/ school is a great place to learn this lesson. I remember a counselor in high school talking to us one time and she asked us “Who is responsible for your education?”

    It solidified this idea in me that I am responsible for my own education, not teachers or parents or anyone else.

    Thank you for writing this!

  5. Bibishan Says:

    Blame game is our “safety net” to console ourselves that we are better than others and the crippling state of mind which limits our growth. Human mind tend to lean more on negative aspect of “what if” than “why not”. I agree with you, life is all about your choices. it’s not about your destiny and circumstance that direct and dictate you, but the other way round.

  6. The Universe is limitless in its possibilities, and if one chooses to pull the covers overhead, so as to block out the light- oh, well.

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