“No written word, no spoken plea can teach our youth what they should be; nor all the books on all the shelves”

Listen, listen, listen, this is all that I ask.

Listen to the words that are entrapped in my actions.

Listen to the secret fears I pretend to braze.

Listen to the tears that are about to rush as I gaze.

These thoughts pull my brain, they flood my mind with numberless ideas, all shouting, “choose me, choose me.” How do you say, I should follow my heart; my heart seems lost.

“Sometimes I think the Fates must grin as we denounce them and insist the only reason we can’t win, is the Fates themselves have missed.”

I hear it sometimes but when I trail, I feel alone. It’s cold down there. I hear the stories now rammed with jumbo grins, telling us about all their struggles, highlighting their ultimate victory that landed them this position. I cheer hard, I want that position someday. But right now, not the list of-shoulds- shouldnts- cants- cans. Not now, I know that list.

I’m embattled with the odds, there are large odds. We hardly like probability even though everything is about probability. Probability; 8/10 = 10 but 2/10 is = 0. I’m either too smart to fail in a field where everyone wins or I’m either too dumb to think I can win in a field where everyone loses.

How should I thrust, if you truly believe that a doom lies ahead? I know, this is for me but I can’t fight this alone, who is watching my back?

If you truly believe in firsts, then why are you so engrossed in the statistics. It’s me remember! You said the still small voice, it’s a support too much to ask? “Do not be afraid to fail, do not be afraid to make mistakes” You shout it so loud and clear, repeated so many times, I actually thought you took the hint. So why the scornful looks, why the I-told-you-so-glances.

“At God’s footstool to confess, a poor soul knelt and bowed his head. ‘I failed!’ he cried. The Master said, ‘Thou didst thy best, that is success.”

Someone has to be here when this part of the play comes; when the light ends in the tunnel when the still small voice turns mute. Someone has to be here when strength diminishes and the picture becomes all too faint. I know the words too well, I listen to them, they sound better before the start button.

How to figure, when to do what is figured for who is figuring and why is figured, is the confusion behind every oldest toddler now turned recent adult. Should it be all numbers? Is it all a game of numbers? Is passion really so underrated?

I hear the stories, it’s almost mesmerizing when 30 years is compressed into 30 minutes, producing a heroic synopsis. But, tell me about the time in the dark, tell me who held your hands when you got weak, I want to hear about all your thoughts and why you held on. Please don’t tell me the flash at the end. By now, I know that too well.

What do I say when the sun hides behind my doubts and my greatest talents become my greatest frustrations? And so when you see me quiet, it’s not for lack of words, or dreams or ambitions but it is for lack of trust. Trust that you would be honest enough to shift your weighed expectations, measured on the scale of the world and listen to me.

Can we start on me or are you going to drop another over used line about success? I will listen when you listen, maybe it is the age but there is something about demands that shut the ears of my age. And when pushed too hard it invites rebellion.

“If you get too engrossed and involved and concerned in regard to the things over which you have no control, it will adversely affect the things over which you have control.”

It comes and goes, the storms. They come and go, in solitude I bid myself to stay afloat and remember, my years are still few. There is ample time, though they say it’s short, it’s not that short. Then I smile and think, I did try. That’s all that I did, I tried.

“From those things, and one other perhaps, I coined my own definition of success, which is: Peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you’re capable. I believe that’s true.”

We all secretly want to be like our heroes, I want your smile back.

“No written word, no spoken plea can teach our youth what they should be; nor all the books on all the shelves — it’s what the teachers are themselves.” John Wooden in his Ted Talk, The difference between winning and succeeding.(all quotes used included)

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