The System

If I asked you what the goal of life is

You’d probably say “to be successful”

But what defines your success?

Money, Cars, a nice home, evenings out in expensive bars?

Or would it be your career, the one you’ve worked so hard at

12 years in public school, 4 years in college, another 4 for graduate school and it all adds up to equal one piece of paper.
That means what?

You know what you’re talking about?

Does that paper qualify any more than the next person to speak on a subject?

I guess so, because otherwise you wouldn’t have wasted your time and money, right?

The piece of paper, hanging so proudly in a frame on your office wall

Must mean that you’ve made it, finally, you’re at the top of the ladder; you’re a success

Or does it mean you’ve just started? You finally passed the training level of their game,

Now it’s on to stage one.

Like a puppet on their strings, you’re bound to dance through life.

Go to a job you hate

In a car you can’t afford

To sleep in a big house you don’t need

With a spouse you once loved

To raise the kids you dreamed of

To send them off into the world you hate

To start the cycle again, with a new plate

As you drive to your mediocre paying job

You pass a man. Old, tired, worn, and tattered

He holds a sign with two measly words “Just Hungry”

You pay him no attention.

After all, you’re better off than him right?

At least, that’s what the paper on your wall says

But who’s really winning in the game of life, you or him

Yes, you make 5 figures a year while he can barely make 5 bucks a day

Yes, you eat way more than you need, while he struggles to feed himself

Yes, you have an endless line of credit to buy whatever it is you want that you deem a ‘necessity’

Yes, when it rains you have a roof on your head, while he looks around helplessly

Yes, you have a ridiculous monthly car note to pay off your nice sports car while he has two god given legs

Yes, you hate your spiteful boss, while he works for himself

Yes, Freddie and Sallie call you twice a month to collect their money that you borrowed for that heaven sent paper on your wall, while he never even finished high school

Yes, you have an outrageous mortgage, with bad credit, while he sleeps in his beautiful two story cardboard box

But who’s happier? Whose grey hairs shine the most?

Spend five minutes with him and I’m sure you’ll know

You’ll see that while he may not be as privileged as you and me

He’s as content as can be

So while the system may call him a failure, a loss, a disappointment, a faux pass in their fool proof plan

He’s the one that’s awesome because he’s more carefree than you’ll ever be

This poem is about: 
My community
Our world


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