As we end another day of waiting for results in a contentious election that will affect the lives of billions of people, GWISE member Shruti Iyer offers a poem to help tide us over.

Explaining the motivation for this work, Shruti explained, “This year has been harrowing on so many levels and we’ve all experienced moments where we lost hope and were left exasperated with what was happening around us. COVID-19 aside, we’ve seen threats and violent acts directed towards people on the basis of their gender, gender identity, race, color, nationality, and/or sexual orientation. Personally, this contributed to a heightened state of anxiety and I needed something comforting and hopeful. I tend to use writing as a coping mechanism when I’m distressed, which led to penning down this poem. It definitely helped me feel better and I hope by sharing it this will do the same for others.” Thanks for offering us a moment of comfort in uncertain times, Shruti!


Why do we cause hurt, sorrow, and pain? 
What is it such acts help us gain? 
Why do we not see beyond color, gender, or differences in thought?
Is there nothing past tragedies have us taught? 

Who are we when you take away our name? 
Take away our color, God, country, and mane? 
If I give you a drop of blood or a tiny cell, 
What is it about me you will be able to tell? 

Can you tell me where I’m from, where I was raised? 
Can you tell me what I eat, which God I praise? 
Do you know who I choose to love, the internal battles I have won?
Do you think you know enough to render me undone? 

Why then is this world so different for you and I? 
What have I done to make you not even want to try? 
Has my spot on this Earth been such a tragedy – 
That for the role you play you choose violence in your soliloquy? 

Go on, think why don’t you? Don’t shy away. 
Tell me at what point equality began to sway? 
Why is one inferior, unimportant, or worthy of disgust, 
When what we’re made of is all the same stuff? 

If we’ve caused you no hurt, sorrow, or pain, 
Why is it then you look at us with such disdain? 
With this world at its brink and about to crumble apart, 
Wouldn’t some tolerance, some love and compassion help us play our part? 

We live but a finite existence on this little blue dot, 
And as the years go by, humanity is forgot. 
Why do we hesitate? What have we left to lose? 
It’s time to take a stand and love be the only thing we choose. 

Love is love. Our differences are beautiful. 
If we were all the same, nothing in life would be as meaningful. 

Shruti Iyer 
October 28th 2020 
8:48 PM (EDT)

Author: sbugwise

We are the Graduate Women in Science and Engineering group at Stony Brook University and we are dedicated to supporting women in STEM fields.

One thought on ““Differences””

  1. that is what our beautiful blue dot need..
    love and acceptance…
    superb Shriti….
    keep writing and spreading love and peace..
    we all are precious including ALL..


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