I dedicate this piece to the brave men and women on the front lines fighting against the systematic prejudices that pervade many of our nation's institutions. As I drew, I meditated on blessings and protection for these heroes. "No weapon formed against me shall prosper..." a bible verse paraphrased by Chance the Rapper in a beautiful freestyle kept running through my mind over in over while I worked as well. I also took time to deeply examine and analyze many of my own attitudes and beliefs. So much of what we allow to divide us as a species stems from one of the only things I've found that we all have in common. I have yet to meet the person who was given the opportunity to choose the color of their skin, the country they were born in, the religion their parents choose to practice, or if they'd like their cells to come with 2 'X's or the 1 'X' - 1 'Y' swirl variety prior to their birth. In the same fashion, we each spend the first portion of our lives completely helpless to the events and actions around us. Decisions are made for us. Beliefs, values, and ways of thinking are demonstrated by those around us and absorbed into our subconscious forming the mold for what we can potentially grow into. It's astounding to me how much credit people give themselves for things that they haven't earned, worked for, and often have no control of whatsoever before turning around and with the same breath belittling another for not having the same. I am very blessed to have had a number of personal triumphs and successes throughout my life. Is it possible that I could have achieved the same things if the circumstances of my birth were different? I'd like to think so, but honestly...probably not. I can't say that I have not had to work or had struggles. What I definitely can say though, is that growing up as a white, christian, male in the United States shielded me nearly to the point of blindness from the many prejudices and struggles that many of my neighbors have had to and continue to be expected to live with. If you think that the act of a person insisting that their life has inherent value somehow diminishes the value of your own, I ask simply that you take a few moments to think about how you really came to be here on this Earth and how much value you really place on the concept of 'life'.