I wish I had been born an oldest because I'd be certain of all that I do; Oldest child, oldest daughter, oldest son; any would help me through. Unfortunately, for my authority, I had an older of both sister and brother; This secured my position of inferiority, with them and with our mother.

When siblings reached to me for guidance, food, or a loving home, I welcomed them with open arms, no matter where I roamed. It only caused much jealousy when my younger siblings came to me; Their complicity in my persecution was something I couldn't see.

I'll never know how I, with no authority, have come to be blamed, For so many of the family problems, and many yet to be named. The oldest of our brothers is dead; our oldest sister is a living saint. Somehow, their authority continues to, my reputation, taint.

I am not the one who tortured our siblings, at our mother's insistence. I am not the one who brought down our father's wrath, with my resistance. I am not the one who beat our ineffective mother in front of her children. I am the one who offered to share all my resources, and those of my men.

Still, I am a pariah, when I share family secrets that have been told to me, Hoping, through them, to define family values on which we all could agree. The problem which I see is that many are convinced of absolute truth, No matter what, in human history, has been shown to be power's abuse.

I cannot deal with those who refuse to acknowledge progress in humanity, Believing that all who protest for human progress are victims of insanity. I have turned myself inside out in attempting to understand their positions; To defect from their versions of humanity has become most sane of my decisions.

Only those who walk in paths that lead to peace while still on earth Will be, by me, seen as the messiahs for which they were given birth. Any father, god, or prophet that hopes to control me by inflicting fear Will never be a god or leader that I will hold, in my values or life, dear.

Goodbye my sisters and brothers who believe in parroted dogma and rules. Goodbye to those who believe that all worth knowing is learned in schools. Goodbye to religions that believe in anointed gurus, prophets, and priests. I believe it's time for all hierarchical religions and caste systems to cease.