June 3, 2020


I Grew Up With This


I grew up hearing my parents

tell the stories of their lives

each one had at least two sides


it didnt even strike me odd

that though they came from Holland

they made sure I didnt hate Germans


I grew up going to a church

teaching salvation came from the Jews

through the God Who became as us


it didnt even strike me odd

that in my Dutch-Canadian community

we wouldnt believe otherwise


I grew up attending a school

where no matter who you were

you came from somewhere else


it didnt even strike me odd

that though each of us was different

the teachers treated us the same


I grew up watching Captain Kirk

Spock, McCoy, Scotty

Uhura, Chekov and Sulu


it didnt even strike me odd

that not all of them were white or male

and Roddenberry made sure it didnt matter


I grew up, was taught these lessons

was shown that each of us is precious

no matter who or what or where we are



One of the most impressive speeches Ive heard was this one by Gene Roddenberry, speaking through James Kirk: “Among my people, we carry many such words as this from many lands, many worlds. Many are equally good and are as well respected. But wherever we have gone, no words have said this thing of importance in quite this way. Look at these three words written larger than the rest, with a special pride never written before or since; tall words proudly saying: We The People. [This] was not written for the chiefs of kings, or the warriors, or the rich, or the powerful -- but for all the people! … They must apply to everyone, or they mean nothing!”


I Grew Up With This
A poem by Peter Rhebergen

Copyright 2021

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