I Am Not Separate From You

“I am not separate from you, my neighbour.
If you are my enemy,
then I am my own enemy.
If you are my friend,
then I am my own friend.
Today, I have stripped off my masks
and come to know myself.
I am Christian. I am Jew.
I am Muslim and Hindu.
I am European and African,
Asian and South American.
I am man. I am woman. I am two-spirit.
I am gay. I am asexual. I am straight.
I am abled. I am disabled.
I am all these things because you are,
and you are all these things because we are.
I exist in relation to each of you—
this is what gives my being meaning.
Why must I label myself like a bottle of wine?
When I am the bottle, the wine,
and drunkenness.
Why must I label myself at all?
When I am the flesh, the light, and the shadow.
When I am the voice, the song, and the echo.
Tell me why I must label myself
when I am the lover, the beloved, and love.
I am not separate from you, my neighbour.
And you are not separate from humanity.
We are all mirrors,
reflecting one another
in perpetuity.”

Kamand Kojouri


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