This post is written in response to the word prompt given by the Five Minute Friday community of writers. Writers are to free write for five minutes on the word given to them. This week was my first time participating in this creative exercise.

I did not intend for my first post to be somewhat dark and negative. But these were the first thoughts that came to my mind when I thought about the word, “place”. The violence in New Zealand that took about 50 lives was still fresh on my mind.

Some places matter. Others don’t.

You’ve heard them say, “Location, location, location.” They’re right.

Your location determines your worth, value and significance. The closer you live to the beach, the more sophisticated, rich and important you are. But the farther you live from the coast, the less privileged and civilized you are. Counties, ballots, electoral maps, real estate, public schools—they are sized up or down depending on who lives where.

Where do you come from? Not from this place? You must be foreigner, an outsider who does not belong. Places, like skin, have colors. Some places are plain white, black or brown. Others are colorful, like grafitti or rainbow.

You see, every place has a boundary, a wall. Every place has its limits. If you try to push the limits or scale the wall, you will face a fight.

Wars are fought over places. Guns and bullets are fired in places. In places of worship. In places of refuge. Because someone decides you don’t belong to their place. Because someone wants to keep you in your place.

What is your birthplace? What are you doing here? Where are you going?

Places and prejudices matter. People and pain don’t.