Ambition, Examined

If we knew just why it’s true
That we do the things we do,
Would we still want to see them through
By and by?

You don’t need much erudition
To view all of this ambition
With just a slight suspicion.
Well, let’s say

That when our zeal implores us
To try out for the chorus
Or to slay that brontosaurus,
We knew why.

Would we still retain those fires
Which this ‘doing things’ requires?
Or would all of those desires
Fade away?

And we wouldn’t do a single thing all day.

When we’re climbing Kil’manjaro
On that path so steep and narrow
Would it thrill us to the marrow
To know why?

Or would climbing lose its gleam
And ambition come to seem
Like some half remembered dream
That flitted by?

Would we still swim across the sea
Get a doctoral degree
All while deftly brewing tea
Or just say “Nay!”

Perhaps the chorus, brontosaurus
Mountain rim, the longish swim
And all the sea, degree and tea
Would fade away

And we wouldn’t do a single thing all day.

2 Responses to “Ambition, Examined”

  1. Sharon Perl says:

    A charming and insightful poem! The psychology underlying this question is fascinating.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks! :-)

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