Surplus

I am a white, middle class man in the UK, so the dice are pretty much loaded in my favour. Whilst I can try to understand what it feels like, there’s no way I can know how it is to have someone judge you literally for being who you physically are, either on the basis of your gender, orientation or race.

However, like everyone I am getting older and there has been one occasion in my life where I was turned down for something on the basis of my age. The feeling of rejection stung like nothing else I had experienced and it made me think, what would it be like if this happened every day and how often have I, even unthinking done this myself?

I’m pretty sure I would be a very, very angry man and I think more people need to realise this when questioning why those who have felt prejudice feel such rage. And since we’re all getting old, how much better to express this than the act of being tossed aside because of your age.

Surplus

For the first time ever,

I got told

I was too old

And it hit home

This is what prejudice feels like.

Unvalued, because of who you are.

Not the choices you made,

Not the things you said,

You are simply

Surplus to requirement.

Now, parts of my life have been hard,

But it’s danger I’ve sought

Hardship I’ve been responsible for,

And none of that,

None of that got to my soul,

Yet this,

This left me cold.

And the funny thing was

They couldn’t see it

And the funny thing was

They thought they were being reasonable

And the sad thing is

I bet I’ve done the same thing in the past.

And the terrible thing is

We probably all have.

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