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UNIVERSAL PUPIL
by Barry Gonen


He's less than five foot two, and he's six feet four,
He writes with pencils and with pens.
He's all of eighteen years and he's only just seven,
Been a pupil, in some places for a thousand years.

He's a Christian, a Bedouin, a Muslim, a Cherkasim and a Druze,
A Samaritan, a Palestinian and a Jew,
And he knows he shouldn't play truant,
But he knows he sometimes will,
Will be absent from lessons in times of difficulty, or when he's ill.

He should study for his future in order to better himself.
He should study to satisfy his curiosity.
He should study in order to achieve his goals.
He should study to expand his mind.
He's the one though, who must decide,
If it's worth the effort to put other things aside,
If in this troubled world he wants to survive, but,
He doesn't always see the writing on the wall.

Without him, there would be no teachers or schools,
No colleges, universities or other seats of learning,
Without him, we would be back in the dark ages,
When, very young, children aged quickly whilst working,
When ignorance was sometimes 'Bliss'
When life was short and forty was very old,
When what you never knew, was never missed.

So He's the one who should acquaint himself with all mankind.
He's the one who should know what life can bestow.
Without him, there will be no prospects for this world.
Without him, our expectations and hopes will cease to flow.
He's the one who should be receptive and listen and observe,
To appreciate his brethren's cultures that surround him,
To develop patience and understanding towards his neighbors,
To encourage and cultivate friendships which, pray, will bear fruit and grow.

He's the universal pupilů..
He is really not to blame,
His influences come not from far away, anymore,
They come from TV, the internet and DVD,
Less from you and me, but,
People, can't you see?
If there is no love between them,
If they can't bridge their differences,
If they don't realize their similarity
If there is no trust and social unity,
It will all be in vain, and,
There will never be a lasting Peace, and,
There will never be an end to War!

Barry Gonen 25.12.2006. All rights reserved (adapted from Universal Soldier by Donovan Leitch)

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