Battered, bullied and abused, I existed in shadows
Until the sensation called hope was no more
I grew up among the worst of neighborhoods.
Living dangerously on the wrong side of the law
Drugs were my only haven; my gang, my oasis and my sanctuary
I knew not right from wrong, nor good from bad, nor friend from foe
No light shone at the end of my dark tunnel, as misery abounded
Guns, gangs and petty crimes filled my days, tormented my nights.
Police chased us across filthy streets with their guns, cars, and batons
Escape attempts were futile, often we were caught like rats in a maze
And gunshots put an end to many a life; cheap, wretched, unworthy lives
Crime does not pay, unless it is payment in blood, our young blood
Ending many dreams, before they had a chance to be fulfilled
In such a hell, we lived, nay barely existed.
No end in sight, with our fates twisted.
Then one day a miracle happened
Right here, in the center of our community
Outside an old dilapidated building
Under the tree that had witnessed many a stabbings
Beckoned a man, dressed in white.
Listen to me, my friends, he said. Come together and play some sports
Everyone has some talent, I know, come show yours to the world.
Drop your knives, your guns, your masks.
Come together and reclaim your innocence
Out of trouble, I offer you a way, if only you heed my words
Make most of it, you have a chance, prove yourselves to the world
Many a days have been wasted, now it’s time to reclaim your soul
Unbelievable though it sounded, my heart yearned to hope
New opportunities awaited me, when guns, knives, masks were gone.
I have not stolen anything in a while
To keep my slate clean, my soul cleaner
I have imbibed nothing harmful, nor smoked poison
Eyes now shine with hope and wonder,
See, there’s light at the end of my dark tunnel
With sports please build peace in troubled communities
Inspire us to become better human beings, not fiends
Teach us to value ethics, discipline and hard work
Help others, just as I have been helped.
So that we can set goals, aim, achieve and aspire
Prepare a plan to succeed and reach higher
Or find a way to escape these hellish flames of fire
Re-write our fate equipped with motivation and desire
Train us to defeat violence, our anger and senseless hatred
Search for new horizons and consider our lives sacred.
Peace can be built in troubled communities through sports.
"Build sports facilities, not juvenile detention centers, to keep young people from committing crimes."