Addicts and Jews

(I am a double-winner here…)
To the outsider it may look like
We have a choice in the matter.
But no. Not really.
It’s not an option. We are born into it.
Our families reflect and cultivate it throughout.
It’s our nature to be this way,
An inescapable inner reality
Dictates our behavior with irresistible intensity.
Ours is a stark reaction to things.
We feel different, because we are.
To us, the others seem self-assured and self-righteous –
Glad they are not like us.
We’re more intense and sensitive,
Fearful and a bit hyper-vigilant perhaps,
Outsiders of mainstream society for various reasons.
Partly it’s an answer to their response to us –
A long history of shame and blame,
Where our behaviors are scrutinized and judged,
Our civil rights routinely taken -
A chain reaction of resistance and defensiveness
And consequently defiance (of course), and
We may say that we are smart and special,
But in all honesty, that’s just a defense.
It’s not really ever easy for us, but
We can’t imagine belonging in the other camp.
And we don’t want to, either.*
Jews may argue that their position is more honorable
And less controversial, that they behave with decency.
That may be the case, but how much has that helped?
The fault lies with the underdog…
We have to deal with it.
Much easier to own the position as outcasts,
Mindful of our own conduct and supportive of each other.
Find consolation, strength, and joy through
Belonging to the tribe and caring
About all sentient beings.
* there it is: the defiance