What Was It All For?

A Poem

Jonathan Greene
Apr 7, 2020 · 3 min read
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Time is standing still as we lurch forward each day
Every step forward is really a step back
because after all this time in isolation
we just realized we’ve been walking in a circle
The start is the finish and the rules are no longer
We have no instruction manual to tell us how to do this
and even through all the uplifting messages
some of us are openly wondering,
what was it all for?

What was this advanced degree for
when a pandemic causes a layoff?
What were those 75-hour workweeks for
when we can be just as productive from home
and via teleconferencing in our pajamas?
What was all that hustle and grind for
when now we are just dust waiting to get blown away?

The plaques on our walls and our business titles
Our followers on social and our Internet badges
The nights we stayed at work as our family ate
The mornings we left early because we “had” to
The lunches we missed because we needed to bill
The gatherings we attended while texting about work
What was it all for?

Stuck inside, looking out windows onto vacant streets
Look where it all got us, nowhere and here at the same time
No mentions in the news or past recognition can help us now
as we stare into the void and the void stares back
No special privileges or favors can get the job done
when droplets of wet air become the ones in charge
and we look around at the ephemera of our lives
just to realize we’ve always had everything we need

We didn’t need that car or that promotion
We didn’t need the lead funnel or another Facebook ad
We didn’t need much of anything other than family,
other than those closest to us, who are now far from us
struggling to figure out the way out of this maze
as we all sit, perplexed and angry because there is no exit

What was it all for if we can’t make it out of this?
What was it all for if we gave up so much to end up here?
The nights away from our kids, the missed opportunities
The focus on our career as a way to prove something
The concept of more and more and more and more
when now there isn’t even enough more to go around

Maybe it was all for this moment, the choices we made
and the choices we will make as we navigate out of this
Maybe we had it right and maybe we had it wrong,
but either way, this is the time to get to the truth
by asking ourselves one simple question, above all others:
What was it all for?

© Jonathan Greene 2020

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A work of art made by grouping found or unrelated objects.

Jonathan Greene

Written by

Father, poet, writer, real estate investor/team leader, certified life coach, sociable introvert. Curating a meaningful life. IG: trustgreene | trustgreene.com


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