I walked once in bracing cold
And chanced upon a sight,
Wherefore a group of men told
Of their tales and bragging rights.
A noble from the city
Began his tale of woe,
Of being an orphan, a pity
And making it on his own.
The beggar scorned at him
As he looked down upon money.
He said it was evil and it seems
He was blessed not having any.
Beside him stood a man
Who was pale and coughing.
He said he was deathly ill and
He struggled with death knocking.
As I walked on further
A man broke from the group.
I caught up to ascertain
More about the troop.
He said “The group was misery
Where men lost their sight.
And as misery loves company
They gathered to state their bragging rights.
Each one in turn narrated
His own tale of sorrow and woe.
And as always he weighed
His story with others told.
The winner would be the piteous bit
As he had suffered the most.
Misery would be his and he it
As trials and woe showed.”
I asked “Why then had he walked away
Shying his own tale from light.
The strongest would surely be swayed
To such a competition of trite.”
The man stared at me and said
“Not me, I’ve regained my sight!
Life and its blessings should be celebrated
And not misery, sorrow and strife.
I ask of you where is the pride
In suffering through trials and shame.
Does sorrow make success burn more bright?
Or does it shine in its own flame?”
I asked, “But, isn’t it great
To see a man win after strife of long?”
He said, “But strife isn’t all it takes.
Otherwise victory would always favor the underdog.
Triumph comes to those who
Have the ability and the drive.
The victorious one also could
Be the one who has seen strife.
I ask of you is it wrong
To celebrate man’s achievements?
Whether it be the king or the monk
Triumph would never glance at his predicament.
Oddly, I regained my senses when I saw
That we were lauding misery.
Where in our hearts each one sought
Happiness, life and victory.”