For Jo Cox (1974 - 2016)

Keith Johnson
Posted July 1, 2016 from New Zealand


Estimated female, what is your legacy

What footprint will you leave?

Inhumanity took your life

Humanity saved your friend’s life.

Devoted to a thing - to a cause - to the abstract

Those who divide seek to conquer by default:

Beguiled by propositions, power and aggrandisement

They conspire to rip us apart with violence

We must create our own path, our own future

And choose how we respond:

Never presume anything about a stranger

There will be no resolution until there are no strangers.

There is brilliance in humanity - to who we really are

If we comfort each other and call out our names:

She came through the darkness to tend my wounds

He held my hand and I felt the life he gave me.

For those who were still alive, in that indescribable hell

There was a soft oh so beautiful female voice

That bid us to a greater unity and a stern commanding

Male voice that said: ‘There is a lot to do’.

But for some their purpose is fulfilled

‘I cannot get up, it hurts too much’:

I knew then that nothing would ever be the same

That from that point I had a purpose.

And our words can make a difference:

It’s all we have in the darkness

And people called together

Learn through working together.

Be aware of our thoughts

Know that words are powerful:

Making a Difference for Peace

We are a lot more than we give ourselves credit for.

Hold firm to renewed unity

Stop thinking about us and the opposed others:

Anger is a motivation for change

Peace is not a noun it is a verb.

Children need to be taught to make peace

By peacing things together:

It is something we must do

There is a common thread.

There are models of humanity that roam among us

And they called me to their ranks:

On a pilgrimage that saves us from bitterness

I take the path of unconditional acceptance.

In the prospect of our children’s lives

I opt to believe in beauty and love:

Committed to the contributing journey:

Peacing together the worst and best.


[I am heavily indebted to Dr Gill Hicks here for her words – a heroine who lives on to make a difference]

This story was submitted in response to Speaking Out for Change.

Comments 1

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Olaoluwa Abagun
Jul 24, 2016
Jul 24, 2016

"And our words can make a difference: It’s all we have in the darkness And people called together Learn through working together."

Dear Keith,

These words blew my mind away!

Surrounded by the darkness of the day, we owe ourselves the responsibility to bind our hearts with our words and actions. At the end of the day, when we putbeacj other down and further divide humanity along inconsequential lines, what are we left with in such a world of vanity?

Your words are so soothing and timely. Keep speaking!