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I was 12 and free

but I got sucker punched by a neo-nazi

who didn’t even let me

get my boxing gloves on before getting

all Rocky Marciano on me…

All his friends laughed

while I held a near broken jaw trashed,

crying dry tears and yelling in silence

like my favorite tragi-comedian, Charlie Chaplin.

Luckily, I lived next to a library

and as I was walking home that fated day

I found myself searching for answers

in the compassion of books.

As fate would have it


I found the Dalai Lama, Yeshua Ben Yoseph, Joan of Ark, Maya Angelou,

Abraham Heschel, Zora Neal Hurston, Pablo Neruda, Anne Frank, Nelson

Mandela… and so many of those who have overcome the craziest enemy with power of love


I spent the next year training

my body-min-spirit triangulating

in how to fight bullies with wisdom.

It was the only thing I could do to bring fact to fiction

And after being hurt so deeply

for something I didn’t understand like…

What’s a Jew? What’s a black or a native too? And what’s really erasing the

human race?


I learned that there are museums for wars, museums for bullying…

I learned that there were those so sick they created slavery…

I learned that there were millions of original tribes decimated by the

disease of money and fake gifts

I learned that so many troops have died they could fill the sky with sand or

the beach with stars…

I learned that history is violent, racist, sexist, classist and idiotic in its level of intolerance


But I also learned how to channel my rage and anger

into inventions, sports and art… I became a musical painter

An expert in poetic justice, a voice for the voiceless…

The next time I saw those bullies,

I was at a party and I asked them to battle me…

but this time it wasn’t a fake boxing match

It was a fight in song, a fight in word, a fight in dance, a fight about

peace, and a fight about real history…

They knew nothing of their own

and what they did share was a list of lies

that so sounded confused it was off beat and humiliating.

But instead of laughing at them, I asked the party to surround us all in a

giant group hug

Not even a bully can escape that much love


Artist, author and educator, Aaron Ableman has dedicated his life to serving youth, families and the planet we all depend on. His new album and companion book, “Alive & Awake”, comes with tree seedlings as part of a global reforestation initiative. Please be in touch