“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 lived…………..
this is to succeed.”
The above are not my words,but Ralph Waldo’s. When I first came accross this poem my life was going through a crisis that I had created all by myself. This was just after my younger brother had joined Starehe Boys’ Centre and School….that had been my dream school…never mind I never made it there. This was one reason that made me feel like a failure. Who goes to St. Mary’s School Yala surely? I hated myself and thought that was the end of the dream I had of a good life ahead. It was even made worse by the fact that my brother made it to Starehe….I guess I must have been selfish.
It wasn’t easy to sink these words in me and incorporate them into my system, in fact it took me six years to go back to that poem and really get what it meant. By this time a lot had already happened, I had failed to join University of Nairobi, which I had really wanted, I didn’t score enough to take a course in Electrical Engineering as I had always wanted. My dear brother on the other hand had managed to appear among the ten best students in the country when he sat his high school final exams and enrolled to UoN for undergraduate studies in Actuarial Sciences……don’t I wish I was this dude sometimes, he seems to get everything.
When at last it did sink, I thought of the word success and realised I hold my key to success. The school I attended doesn’t matter, the course I take in college is not a problem as long as I sit and work on making the best out of it with passion. I got to love Yala later, am glad I went through that school, it made the man I am. Public Relations is a darling of my life, as it is my better half till I get a better one. 🙂
To laugh much often; I only need to love that which I have, that which God has seen best to avail me with, and then I’ll sure enjoy it, do away with the sulk and laugh again and again.
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; I start with my brother as the closest intelligent person, win his respect and as a small brother he is the child that I will have earned affection from…don’t kill me JoeJoe, you are our baby no matter how long your beards grow.
To earn the appreciation of honest critics; I don’t have to take negatively honest corrections, alot of them care and would like to see the best of me come out. Endure the betrayal of false friends; they’ll always be there but I won’t let it bring me down, neither will I let it lead to confrontations.
To appreciate beauty,to find the best in others; don’t they deserve it after all, I don’t have to be skeptical about everything, atleast appreciate the good that others do and the wonderful people they are
And then comes the part that moves me most… 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 lived…………..
this is to succeed.”
And this is what I’ll live for, when they at last cremate my body, the world has to be a better place, better than it was when I was born, better than it is a I write this.
I am glad my brother went to Starehe because if he didn’t MAYBE I’d have never come accross this peom.