Success is not a Straight Line

Every parent’s wish:

Dear child,
When you grow up, and you are no longer new, I wish this little wish for you.  I want you to be great.  I want you to be free.  I want you to be a success you see, but success is not a straight line. 

*Child*
What is success?
Is it what you can see?
Is it winning?  Or losing gracefully?
Is it a family?
A job?
Friends who care?
Or Money?  Or Fortune?  Or something you wear?
Is it a house?
A car?
Your face on TV?
What is success?
Is it what it means to you, or to me?
Is it a ship that you steer from here to there?  Where you are the captain without a care?
Is it a location or a place?
Is it your happiness and the smile on your face?
Is it a wave that you ride, or a smooth sailing tide?
Is it a rocket in the air?
A cowboy on his mare?
That clown at the fair?
I ask you again, is it a thing you can see?
Can you touch it, or smell it – can you set it free?
Does it bubble, or wiggle, or float?
Can you hear it, or taste it?  Does it get stuck in your throat?
Is it a key, or keys?  Tell me, does it really open doors?
Can you bake it in the oven, or roast it like s’mores?
If I have it, or achieve it, can I stop doing chores?
I hear some say that successful people are bores.

*Parent*
Success is not a straight line, a ladder, or a climb.
Success is not a straight line, but having it is divine.
Success is not a straight line, but a crooked road, or maze.
For some a haze, others a craze, many look for it in a daze.
Success is not a straight line.  A winding road?  A zig and zag?
The place some get to – then brag, brag, brag.
Success is not a straight line.

*Child*
Do I want it?
What good is having it?
Is it mine, mine, mine?!
Will it help me do my hair?  Or get me out of bed?
If I have it will I be faster, or wear shoes of lead?
Is it contagious, like a virus, if I have it – will it spread?
If success is not a straight line, not a race to be won,
Is it in the doing, the joy of doing, until what you’re doing gets done?
Your waking and happiness around each new day?
The pleasure you have from your work and your play?
The laughter you share, embracing your cares?
Time spent on what matters a lot, and leaving behind what does not?
Is it playing all day at the park?
Is it pretending to be a dog, and doing a loud bark?
Is it skipping, or running, or jumping up high?
Is it looking quiet and careful at cloud shapes in the sky?
Can I eat it, or splash it?
Does it squish like the sand?
If I have it, can I make things and hold them in my hand?
Is it work?
Is it fun?
Does it taste like a treat?
Will it cool me off in the hot summer heat?
Is it like paint, full of colors and glow?
Why do you want me to be successful? I still do not know.
I don’t know what it is, I’m on the fence indeed.
What is success?  What does it mean to succeed?
I still do not understand.  What is success?  Is it a command?
I have heard what you’ve said, and it’s thoughtful that’s true, but I don’t think you understood me – what is success?  What does it do?

*Parent*
Success is not a straight line, that much is true – success will be different for everyone, for me and for you.

*Child*
I get it now, I think, I see…
Success is not a straight line.  It is not a road, or a climb.  It is not a ladder, or a boat.  It is not a place.  It is not how you float.  It is not money, or a house, or being on TV, it is what you want – is that right? – what you want it to be?  So my success is determined by – me!

*Parent*
Success is not a straight line, but those who have it say it is sublime.

*Child*
I now know and understand all that was said, success it not a straight line, and now, goodnight!  I’m off to bed.

Copyright © 2016 Kim Orlowski. All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements