“Success: To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have had a very full, busy and tiring day today. I don’t mind hard work at all, but there some things that really grate on me and exasperate me. One of these is betrayal, the other is people that act in a petty and vile manner for no reason at all, are hateful and nasty just for the sake of it, and the other is individuals who are so inflated and full of their own sense of self-importance and infallibility that they ignore everyone else, stepping on corpses to achieve their hollow goals.
Today, unfortunately one of my direct reports revealed herself as one of these rare individuals who betrayed my trust, acted in a petty manner and tattled on her staff on a vile manner, and was nasty for no other reason except to elevate herself in the eyes of her supervisors. The display shocked and dismayed me, especially as I had helped this person achieve her position and had believed enough in her to allow her to occupy a position of trust and responsibility.
What satisfaction can there be for someone who achieves success by betraying friends and colleagues, stabs people in the back, plots and schemes, lives by laws and rules dictated by greed and egotism? What satisfaction can there be for someone whose happiness is based on the misfortune of countless others? How can such persons sleep easily at night, knowing their actions have caused so much misery?
I wrote this poem as I tried to calm down this evening in my hotel room, and attempted to work out strategies to deal with this difficult situation…
Reaching for the Light
I try to touch the brilliant light
To win the shadows and the dread of night;
I try to search and find the truth
Like in those days long gone of youth.
I do a daily battle and I hope to win
The spreading evil and the vile chagrin;
Of countless disappointments, of loss,
Of pressing weight of heavy crushing cross.
I shake the dark cloud of despair and woe,
While freeing my soul from baseness low.
I try my best, act fairly, strive for good
All for the sake of amity and brotherhood.
And yet the vile dark worm of greed
Consumes all good, while selfish ends do breed;
Corruption, filth, false values gain foothold
Innocence, purity and goodness bought and sold.
How can my puny hand wield mighty sword,
What courage can I find to battle endless night?
How can my single effort win the endless horde,
Can my resistance overcome such an unequal fight?
With singleness of purpose and with rich reward
We few of honour can make all wrongs right.
With perseverance and thought of defeat ignored,
We crush ignoble acts and thoughts, to find the light.
Jacqui BB hosts Poetry Wednesday. Please visit her blog for more poems.