Intergenerational Poem: Where I Come From

— presented to the Voice of Witness group, March 2022 in response to:

Where do you come and what is your identity?

From dust to dust

Filled with spirit briefly

Dying from the moment of birth

Living with cancer

Multiple myeloma

Treatable but not curable

Progression-free at the moment

Cancer-drug side-effects troublesome

Prognosis uncertain

Death knocks at my door

As it knocks at your door 


I live as fully as possible

As long as possible

A human being

Nothing more

Nothing less

Trying to make the most of my time

Trying to reverse humanity’s downward spiral

Trying to spread commitment to compassion and justice 

Planting seeds for a global moral humanity movement

Cultivating a world that serves humanity, the environment, and life itself

Trying to be a better human being

Trying to avoid demonizing others

Trying to be a more effective activist

Trying to learn, learn, learn

Taking care of myself so I can better serve others

Loving the universe

Communing with Mother Nature

Enjoying life

Promoting Truth, Justice, and Beauty

Three sides of the same coin

Looking for more soul mates on the same path

Soul mates who don’t 


Ask, What’s in it for me?

Soul mates who realize they’re not the point

Humanity is the point

Life is the point

Looking for soul mates who protect life

Protect the planet

Relieve suffering

Eliminate the causes of preventable suffering

Soul mates who 

Identify as a member of the human race

Looking for more soul mates who do the right thing

Organize, educate, agitate

Push, push, push

Take chances

Nurture peace

Holistic democracy

Human rights

Civil rights

Economic rights

Labor rights

Voting rights

Environmental sustainability

Democratic equality

Compassion and justice

Everyone’s infinite value

Demand Washington respect the will of the people

And establish economic security and justice for all

Looking for soul mates who are true to themselves

True to their higher angels

Soul mates who 

Live the way they want everyone to live

And recognize others will do the same

Soul mates who are humble
Make judgments without being judgmental

Refrain from assuming moral superiority

Soul mates who neither dominate nor submit

Who know how to be a partner


With mutual respect

Soul mates who listen as much as they talk

Soul mates on the same path

Who seek the Beloved Community

Help each other unlearn divisive social conditioning

Internalized oppression

That undermines unity

Soul mates who are simply a human being

Enspirited flesh

Enfleshed spirit

Seeking, seeking

Always seeking

As death knocks at the door

Whether or not 

You know it

–Wade Lee Hudson

My Story: Peer-to-Peer Community (Part One)

By Wade Lee Hudson

My first organizing was on sandlot softball fields. Boys would show up and two “captains” took turns selecting teammates, assigned positions, and set the batting order. Two of the better players, which usually included me, served as captain, but anyone could do it, and many often did. There were no arguments about this decision. Each captain was dispensable. The players weren’t dependent on a leader. Little did I realize that this simple, horizontal, self-regulating, self-perpetuating, peer-to-peer structure would become a community organizing model for the rest of my life — though, alas, I followed it imperfectly.

My second project was the high school chess club, which I initiated. After advertising, some fifteen students joined and met weekly. At the first meeting, we randomly determined each student’s initial position on a vertical ladder. Players moved up and down the ladder as they won or lost. Another peer-to-peer structure, this one within a larger, democratic hierarchy: the school administration.

During high school, as is common, I participated in a clique. Mine was a group of five boys who read and discussed iconoclastic literature such as H.L. Mencken and Bertrand Russell and frequently gathered at night to smoke pipes and play poker. That informal structure also nurtured a rewarding sense of peer-to-peer community. As Bob Dylan sings, “I wish, I wish, I wish in vain / That we could sit simply in that room again.”

When I entered the University of California, Berkeley in 1962, I joined a student co-op as a boarder.

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