What’s Stronger Than Plastic and Larger Than Life

Too many people suffer in silence. You might be one of them. Even if you’re not, it’s guaranteed you know at least one person who is suffering in silence. They’re not sharing about their struggles. But they have them. And it’s weighing them down.

Their situation looks hopeless to them. “Who would care about me? Who would help?” Those are some questions that might be running through their mind at any given time.

And it’s all too tempting in their situation to think that they’re the only ones who have ever had such pain. Their mind tells them that they’re alone. Unique in their pain.

Their heart would tell them that others have gone through the same thing. And that their problems are common. Yes, even universal.

I see my purpose as helping others to see their value. As I do that, a wonderful thing happens. I get to see my value, too.

I’m cheering for you. We’re all in this life together.

Think of your own life as you read these lyrics. Maybe you’ve been through something similar or know someone who has.

“Stronger Than Plastic” lyrics / poem by James Barnett

I see myself as if I’m wrapped in chains
I’ve spent my life trying to break free
What’s worse is these chains seem
To be made of plastic
Have my attempts been so feeble
I end up telling myself that
Even plastic chains can be tough to break
For my sake, maybe that’d better be the case
How much more of this can I take
I cry for freedom
I cry out for freedom
Come on and break these chains off me
Won’t someone break these chains off me

Like an elephant, I’ve been trained
Since childhood to think I’m weak
And beyond help
Of course, that makes me feel so lonely
And then I’ve been much easier to manipulate
In my mental state, when I’ve been stolen from
Controlled and drained away
It’s been like taking candy from a baby
Except maybe the baby cries
And something might be done
To right that wrong

Oh, what could I do to protect myself
And is there any way to be full-on strong
So that others would respect me
And perhaps give rather than take
Is such a thing only a fantasy
That remains to be seen

I’ve been looking for someone to save me
Without making sure I’m worth saving
It can be so easy to see me as worthless
As if everyone else matters
And I’m the only one that doesn’t
That’s quite lop-sided
And can only be false
But still the idea has remained
That cancer of a thought
That I’m a waste of time and space
As well as a waste of life

These are the thoughts I’ve grappled with
Through so many long years
And they simply haven’t gone away
They’ve been steady and vicious
Loyal companions
Draining away whatever hope I’ve had
Little by little perhaps
I get to break their influence
And with enough breaks
All the chains fall off

Could it be a step in the right direction
To consider that maybe
I’m stronger than plastic
Even if that doesn’t sound like much
So I work my way up
From one thing to another
Progressing from stage to stage

If I’m stronger than plastic
What else am I stronger than
I break these plastic chains
One by one, they fall away
I get to see more of the light of day
Admitting my own strength
Which in many ways I didn’t know

Didn’t know my own strength
But now it’s time I do
Remembering what I once knew before
I’m stronger than plastic
What else is in store

I see myself with all the chains fallen away
I spend my life helping others be free
Even if they’re bound by chains made of plastic
That doesn’t make them pathetic
Just like it didn’t make me pathetic
Their efforts may have been feeble
‘Cause they don’t know their own strength
Now it’s time they do

They cry out for freedom
What is in store
As they see that they’re stronger than plastic
As they see their chains fall away
Free to live from our hearts
Free to follow our dreams
In unity, in harmony
What a beautiful reality we reap

Stronger than plastic
We weep with our newfound freedom
Stronger than plastic
What else are we stronger than


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Until next time,

James Barnett

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2 thoughts on “What’s Stronger Than Plastic and Larger Than Life”

  1. Dear James,

    It’s a very hard place to be, feeling like you are in chains. 30 years ago, I saw myself wrapped in steel bands! That is extreme stress and tension. Thankfully, those bands were broken.

    You, me, and many others aren’t alone.

    You are a sensitive person who feels deeply. Trauma can go deep.

    Those who bring healing to the world do a lot of work to be healed themselves. I am cheering for you!

    1. Thank you, Maisie. The trap is in thinking that we’re alone even though we’re not. It’s so easy to forget that we’re all connected. I’m cheering for you, too!

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