Were You a Success?

Your time is done  
The hour is late  
Soon you'll discover
If an afterlife awaits
But before your last breath  
You need ask yourself  
"Were you a success?"  
Did you give more than take?  
Was your love brighter,  
Than your hate?  
Were you tolerant  
And did you respect  
Those of different  
Lifestyles and habits?  
Did those who loved you  
Benefit from your existence,  
Or were their lives impeded  
And troubled because of it?  
Did you plant a tree  
And sow some seeds  
To replenish what  
You took from the earth  
To satisfy your needs?  
Were you never to proud  
To do the most menial labor,  
But not so meek and pliant  
That you didn't demand  
Fair compensation for it?  
Did you hug a crying child,  
Comforted a troubled stranger?  
Adopt a stray dog,  
Helped a needy neighbor?  
Did you realize  
There is more in the universe  
That we don't know  
Than we do?  
Were you a lonely voice  
Of dissent  
When your family  
And community  
Marched lockstep?  
Did you love your neighbor  
As much as you loved yourself  
Especially the neighbor  
Who was sleeping next to you?  
Did you ignore the pious,  
Defy convention,  
And resist selfishness of celibacy  
To make passionate love  
To a lonely person?  
Most important,  
Did you forgive others  
And did you ask them  
To forgive you?  
When you transcend  
From this demenion to the next  
It will be what good you've done,  
Not your wealth or conquests  
That will be the measure of your success  
Written by snugglebuck
Published | Edited 8th Jul 2019
Author's Note
My poem 'Were You a Success' was inspired by Wendell Berry's poetic masterpiece, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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