I have been interacting with many many students and young people of all age groups over the past three years that I’ve been teaching. And while their enthusiasm is admirable and infectious, I sometimes fear that their perception of ‘ambition’ has become inextricably intertwined with earning lots of money!
Nothing wrong with earning lots of money I suppose. But should that really be the very definition of Ambition? Today I want to leave you with a poem I wrote many years ago, that raises this very question. The poem itself is a tad amateurish, given I wrote it a long time back, and have not made any changes to it. I hope however, that it conveys the essence of what I believe ambition ought to be, and compels you to question your own definition…
Do you call the shots?
Do you set the plot?
Ambitious? Or have you its meaning lost?
Is a life less lived if money is not aspired to?
Blurred ambition, if not monetarily triumphed too!
Like a shamed pilot you flew
Into the endless, malicious material vastness
Without a clue!
I say, get the basics straight
Today, ambition is sadly juxtaposed
With material gain
The relentless human strain
Unending journey on the money train!
Ambition, the most contorted of virtues
Now lies trapped and corrupted in material dew
Innocent kid in the opium den
Risk and thirst for knowledge are ambition’s real cues
Let Lincoln Paper not be the measure
Seek growth, intellectual power
Cherish and make those your treasure
Ambition’s true feathers
Ambition is undying ‘will to do’s’ first cousin
Let it not adulterate under a clouded material vision
Ambition must exist, but for the right reasons
The money madness is a huge treason
Ambition was born
And now it lies disheveled
Be ambitious for ambition’s sake…