I speak of love. You hear anger.

I talk of encouragement. You hear argument.

I encourage empathy. You hear “too soon.”

I challenge your views. You hear nothing.

So I become angry.

I argue.

I harden.

I turn into nothing, a nonevent. No voice, unworthy of attention. A burr in the sock, a goad in the side, a blister on humanity. Dismissed.

But I am not nothing. I would love you if you would let me. Who knows? Your life might be the better for it.

I offer to improve your life. You hear arrogance.

I am dismissed.