I wonder
what defines human nature?
I want to believe
its our ability to communicate
to live amongst one another
to come together against all odds
to achieve the remarkable
to defy the laws of nature
to investigate, to create,
to make a life with another.
I want to believe
human nature is defined by beauty
by compassion, by community.

I want to believe all this
but I find it difficult
to mentally process
all the cruelty
that has occurred
and is occurring in our world.
I am old enough now
that I can’t simply close my eyes
and ignore the bad,
I see the anger, the violence, the bigotry,
I see the eyes of people
that hurt others without any regard
and I wonder
is something broken in human nature?
Have we progressed so far
that we have regressed
to a primitive mentality?

I do not have the cure
to fix what ails mankind
I simply sense the effects
there is a sentiment of dread
that is filling our atmosphere
and we won’t defeat it
through violence or cruelty.
I believe
humans need one another
I believe
community is defined by communication
I believe
violence and cruelty break those bonds.

I do not know
what defines human nature
I do know
I plan to make my time count,
I will not let the cruelty define my existence
I will not perpetuate a cycle of violence
I will do my best
to enhance the qualities
that make humans remarkable.

-Vanessa Hernandez

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