Poem 3: Success

Today's poem comes with an apology or two. Firstly, I realise I am slightly late in posting, so apologies for that; secondly, the poem I have chosen for today is not new to me, but is in fact one of the first poems I remember learning off by heart. It was given to me by the parent of a Primary School friend as we left Year 6 and headed off to Secondary School for the first time. The poem is perhaps a little trite, but then again maybe I only use that word to disguise the fact it means a lot to me.
As many of you will know, I have recently completed a PhD, during which I constantly questioned my ability and doubted whether I could or even should attain the lofty title of "Doctor" of Chemistry. Since finishing, I have begun teacher training, a programme in which I am constantly assessed and asked to critically reflect on my success after every lesson. As a result, I have often found myself recently, as I'm sure everyone does from time to time, somewhat overwhelmed by a need to prove myself and to "succeed" in a completely unquestionable manner.
On days like that, it seems best to retreat into old beloved films and books, and in this case, poems.

So, if you'll indulge me, I'd like to present today's poem, by an unknown author.


Success is speaking words of praise
In cheering other people's ways
 In doing just the best you can
With every task and every plan
It's silence when your speech would hurt
Politeness when your neighbour's curt
It's deafness when the scandal flows
And sympathy with others' woes
It's loyalty when duty calls
It's courage when disaster falls
It's patience when the hours are long
It's found in laughter and in song
It's in the silent time of prayer
In happiness and in despair
In all of life and nothing less
We find the thing we call success


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