What Will You Be Known For?

What will be your monument,
That you were discontent,
And mired in constant acts
Of complaining?
That you started projects
But had problems sustaining
The momentum to their completion?
Will they give points or credit
For additions of faith and subtract
For your numerous deletions
Of attendance when your
Presence was required,
And you needed to act?

What will you be known for?
Achieving the pinnacle
Of your profession?
For the periodic lapses
Of courage, concessions
Made because you were afraid to offend;
The wasted chances to recommend
An alternate viewpoint;
When you lost your soul
And squandered the chance
To model the more appropriate role?

What will they say
Was your slant on things?
How often did you say
Can’t on things?
Was the glass
Half empty or half full?
Did you push the envelope
When you needed to pull?

What will be
Your impact on things?
Will you be known
To support or able to bring
Closure to negative forces at large;
That you rode the flow or took charge?

How will they describe you
When you experienced a fall?
Were you gracious
Or not at all?
Did you take responsibility
Or defer the blame?
Or use the challenge
To strengthen your name?
Did you go with precedents
Or question all the evidence?

Where did you stand?
Where was your heart?
Was love sweetness
Or was it tart?
Were you as a lover open wide
Or cautious as mating porcupines;
Was there something to hide?

What will you be known for?
For life you know, is keeping score?
Are you making a difference at all?
Will they read your writing on the wall
Of life and ascertain
That your presence eased suffering;
That pain was lessened
By your moments here;
And life was better
And maybe one less tear
Took a journey down a cheek,
Because you listened
And was not afraid to speak?

Copyright © 2001 Orlando Ceaser
Reprinted from Teach the Children to Dance by Orlando Ceaser

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