I came before you for many reasons;

To blaze the trail,

To cut a path through the thicket,

So that you would not fail,

To let you see second hand

So that you did not have to experience

All things first hand,

So that you did not have to taste

The bitterness of some of life’s fruit,

And did not have to waste time

On the roads of needless distractions.


I came before you for many reasons;

To teach you to be thrifty

So that you did not waste

The precious emeralds of time

That fell as droplets of eternity.


I came before you, marched single file

Into this world

To experience the seasons of life,

To report to you and deliver my findings,

To deliver comments on the other side;

To tell you about the Spring

Of my career,

So that you may learn

From me as I approach winter.


Let me tell about the Spring,

When prospects were luscious

And bountiful,

When I was desired for my youth

And my potential;

When employers lusted after me,

Stunned by my beauty,

Enraptured by

My possibilities,

Yet wary of my judgment

And lack of experience.

These were glorious moments

And times of true excitement

And adventure.


Let me show you me in summer;

When employers, as suitors

Would line up in the heat

Of the midday sun

And dance for me,

And promise me

Treasures from their opened coffers.

The offers flowed competitively

As they sang to me and danced

As peacocks in mating season.

They unabashedly wooed my affections

And dangled the supple fruits of profit sharing

And a caring environment.

They swore to take care of me

For all of my working days

Into a wonderful retirement.


But summer transitioned into autumn,

When the leaves blazed beautifully

Upon the corridors of my career.

They stood proudly as trophies,

Collected through a long and vivacious career,

Filled with wise and foolish choices.

The autumn stood magnificently,

But Winter loomed mentally on every thought,

As I face the mortality of my career.

I stand prominently as a wise oak

In the forest close to the trunks of

Others who prematurely fell to the earth

Struck by lightning of tumultuous

Vocational storms.

I stand as a model for seedlings

In the jungle of enterprise.

I give back to the soil in autumn

To replenish the earth for the trees

That are seasons behind me.


As winter comes,

I am prepared for the change.

I have stored wisely during other seasons

The time doesn’t threaten me.

I am not afraid,

But I am cognizant of my status

Within my profession.


I am my memories.

I have knowledge and wisdom

That must be shared with you.

I have instructions that I must pass on.

The rings of my life were earned

So that you might travel vicariously

Through my journey.


I came before you for many reasons;

To speak to you in summer,

When you are in spring;

To share with you autumn

As you bask in the summer

Of your career;

To show you a glimpse of winter,

As autumn touches your leaves.


I came before you for many reasons;

Enjoy life and share the seasons

Of your mind,

Plan and look forward

As you help those

Who stand behind you

Waiting for their turn

On the cycle of their careers.


Copyright © 2003 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted from Leadership above the rim



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