Life’s About

I would like to share here a poem, which a former colleague sent in a farewell email to her colleagues. I hardly knew her, we had only a few conversations, and the last time I saw her, before she left the company, she told me that she was going to study law. She is probably a lawyer now. Though I didn’t see her anymore, I didn’t forget her.

She wrote the email in July 1997, and I kept her email over all these years because the poem made sense. It made sense then and now.

So here is the poem that is widely available, also in modified versions, on the Internet. The author is unknown.


Life isn’t about keeping score.
It’s not about how many friends you have,
Or how accepted you are.
Not about if you have plans this weekend,
Or if you’re alone.

It isn’t about who you’re dating,
Who you used to date,
How many people you’ve dated,
Or if you haven’t been with anyone at all.
It isn’t about who you have kissed……

It isn’t about who your family is,
Or how much money they have,
Or what kind of car you drive.
Or where you are sent to school.

It’s not about how beautiful or ugly you are.
Or what clothes you wear, what shoes you have on,
Or what kind of music you listen to.
It’s not about if your hair is blond, red, black, or brown,
Or if your skin is too light or too dark.

Not about what grades you get,
How smart you are,
How smart everybody else thinks you are,
Or how smart standardized tests say you are.

It’s not about what clubs you’re in,
Or how good you are at “your” sport.
It’s not about representing your whole being on a piece of paper
And seeing who will “accept the written you”.


But, life is about who you love and who you hurt.
It’s about who you make happy or unhappy purposefully.
It’s about keeping or betraying trust.
It’s about friendship, used as a sanctity or a weapon.
It’s about what you say and mean, maybe hurtful, maybe heartening.
About starting rumors and contributing to petty gossip.
It’s about what judgments you pass and why.
And who your judgments are spread to.

It’s about who you’ve ignored with full control and intention.
It’s about jealousy, fear, ignorance, and revenge.
It’s about carrying inner hate and love, letting it grow, and spreading it.

But most of all,
it’s about using your life to touch or poison other people’s hearts
in such a way that could have never occurred alone.
Only you choose the way those hearts are affected,
and those choices are what life’s about.

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