Although this poem seems to support the Protestant Work Ethic that has ruled our minds for the past two hundred years, we can refocus the message and apply it to seeking our greater sense of meaning and purpose. We just may realize that ‘success is failure turned inside out’ but also ‘failure is sucess turned inside out’.  Gaining the world but losing your soul may not be the greatest success, The greatest failute may be not realizing what we are truly capable of being and doing. Hopefully, both success and failure can teach us how we can use our gifts and passions to contribute to the greater good for ourselves and for the world in which we live.

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

For all the sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been.

From Sameer Bhagat. Inspiring Poems [blog], https://sameerbhagat.wordpress.com/2018/01/02/inspiring-poem-dont-quit-byjohn-greenleaf-whittier/ January 2, 2018.