Failure and Success

So is it really possible to know

that you’ve succeeded or you’ve failed?

I think the answer is both yes and no,

that it depends on what you’re measuring

and how it’s measured. Take, for instance, wealth.

Is failure or success how much you have,

and does it matter how the wealth was gained?

Are lawyers judged by losses and by wins

and only how their clients faired in court?

And what of teachers? Are they to be judged

by how their students do on tests in school?

I rather hope it’s how they do in life.

Has teacher failed if Johnny spent his time

in English drawing pictures if he now

has fifty people working in his shop?

And what about the kid who never did

the work assigned because his mind

was off in Neverland? Did teacher fail

when decades later his photography

and writing is astounding? Did he fail

the student? Did the student fail the class

if everything the teacher tried to teach

is now reflected in the student’s work?

I wonder, but I doubt I’ll ever know.

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