A Successful Life



Once asked of me, ten years ago, when I was young and spry,
“Would you regard your life fulfilled if death was drawing nigh?”
The answer did not come with haste, so then I thought it through,
“What have you done with life so far? That which is best for you?”

I paused to analyse my life: “When would I be content?”
“With fame and opulence!” I thought. “If so, to what extent?”
I searched the years already gone, for glimpses of success,
How would they all remember me?” (I shuddered, I confess!)

A wise man said, “The more man had the more he really craved.”
And then I saw the world around, perverted and depraved,
Consumed, as I, with wealth and fame and “getting up the ladder,”
Neglecting all-important things, the ones that really matter.

And so I delved into my heart; saw all the hurts in action;
The lust and loftiness I sought brought fleeting satisfaction.
I yearned for more than wealth or fame (far more than I could find)
My deep desire was love and joy and even peace of mind.

I found them not in costly jewels nor glory or in wealth,
(And having lots of ‘wherewithal’ is naught without your health!)
Another wise man told the truth, “You reap what you have sowed.
And so my life from that day on went down another road.

Now life I see abundantly, without remuneration,
I’m executing helpful deeds, with no self-occupation.
The little things: a child’s grin and hugs that make me melt,
Are treasures more than diamond rings and rhinestones in my belt.

One selfless act yields far more wealth than self-indulgence could;
And kindness sees that all of these work for the common good.
To see my life producing gain not just for me, today,
Brings peace to know that you helped others along the way.

So when at last I face death’s door, remembering all my seasons,
I’d like to look with modest pride; to see the noble reasons.
The ultimate accomplishment to ever be achieved,
Would be to see the humble blessed; the poor to be relieved.

So, if it be my destiny to spread some peace in life
Affecting not just passers-by who shared in all the strife,
But also others down the track, the future generations;
To me this is a Successful Life, exceeding expectations.

Della Steen


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