I suffer from a massive deficit of sympathy. I see people make decisions. I observe their choices. Quietly watch while they plant seeds they do not understand, in land they did not prepare, collecting king harvests of everything they did not intend.
And I do not feel sorry for them.
I am a man who has been asked for help before. I’ve been asked to lead others forward.
I’ve worked for years on my own, tears and sweat stained clothes,
along with everything else the world could throw at me.
None of it was my passion. Yet that was the cost it kept asking.
To care, about issues I placed beneath me.
About problems that were not mine.
A whole planet seeming to expect one thing from me.
And I have never punished a person for asking for help.
For reaching out in search of options. For the simple reason
that I do the same thing every single season, just to get by.
I ask dirt, I ask the sky, I ask buried water tables
to bear the burden of every cup I drink.
I ask my family. I ask my friends. I even ask me.
I ask the deepest part of myself to offer up what little strength I know it holds in reserve.
And after many years, I have learned, keeping a pantry full will make you feel emptied.
To have more you’ll sacrifice more than plenty. Think you’ll achieve your dreams this year,
talk to me in twenty.
I am a failure. Thank God.
I am a failure who has fed goats on corn he could not get to stand up on its own.
I am a failure who overturned black earth a year after it was gnat hovered and mold covered.
I am a failure who committed himself to writing because of all the arts I dabbled
in in my youth, my writing was the worst. The hardest.
It offered up the least reward. And I chased it,
into areas of myself I had never been before.
I feel no sympathy for decisions that seem to me lead directly to results you did not want.
I do not believe in accidents. I do not believe failure is a noun. I may, for an argument’s sake, use it that way, facetiously. But it is only a verb. No more than a word.
One I rarely reply to with sympathy.
If you want to be a boss, that’s fine.
But in the end, you’ll need a friend,
and employees will be all you find.