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The College Student Vs. The Soup Kitchen

This is just a bit of wisdom that I have acquired within my 31 years of existence.  Each day I learn a new lesson and add that to my library of experience.  

After a While... 


After a while, the urgency will be gone in circumstance

or people that once ignited that spark within us

are forgotten by the downtrodden toils and

everyday goings on that play within our mindset.


After a while, the gilded perspectives will tarnish

revealing the ugly flaws that will crop up if we don’t keep them polished.

When we hide our true selves to boast of all we have to offer to everyone else

sadly becomes more important than the people that matter.


After a while, your perception of those close to you begins to unravel

and the fog blocking your point of view is lifted, revealing what was actually there,

what your heart didn’t want your mind to see.


After a while, you realize that what you put into something is what you will get back

whether it is in relationships, friendships, or work;

You put in minimal effort, you’ll get minimal results.

But if you put your all into something, you’ll reap the benefits.

If you don’t reap anything no matter how much you put into it

after a while you’ll realize that it isn’t worth the effort.

Then after a while those who took you for granted will see what they have lost.

But if they don’t, then it doesn’t matter-for you of all people should know your own worth.


After a while the grand-scale frivolities will lose their grandeur

and the little things will matter more-

and if those little things are seriously lacking, the grandiose ones be of little significance

for some it’s easier to pull out a checkbook these days than it is to put your heart into anything.

Money only solves so many problems.


After a while promises will not be kept

and are forgotten within the world of more important things, of responsibilities

or simply laziness and uncaring.

For those who hold on, will have to let go and realize that those promises were only fleeting.


After a while hopes only go so high, then come crashing down like a shooting star-

brilliant in its glory, blazing across the sky, suddenly snuffed out as it reaches the atmosphere of reality.

Its final cry of realization that, expectations go above and beyond that.


After a while we are consumed with the here and now and such potential is lost

when so many nights spent planning with hope in hearts and light in the eyes

eventually leads down the path to disappointment. 

After a while you’ll realize that once you neglect the here and now-

any hopes for a future will be lost,

and after a while, you’ll realize that there may be no way to go back.


After a while, we see the truth in faults we never knew existed

and these faults we once adored become the thorn within our side.

We fail to see them as what they were to us before-endearing qualities, quirks-

the unique unchanging personality of the individual.  


After a while we lose the strength of passion within our hearts

instead, replace it with passing obligation.

We walk briskly past that flame,

the flurry of our comings and goings softly threatening to extinguish that fire.


After a while, we become too adjusted, too comfortable with what we have.

It becomes boring, our eyes wander,

and as this happens the fertile ground upon where we once tread becomes

malnourished, dries, shrivels, and is carried off-lost within the oblivion of neglect.


After a while the songs that are sung are played out of tune

or not played at all.


After a while you’ll realize when someone begins a sentence with

“After all that I’ve done for you…” after doing something wrong

they’re trying to use their past good deeds to justify their current bad ones

making you feel wrong for being upset when you had every right to be

or worse-obligated.


After a while you’ll realize that friendship is not based on obligation

but the kindness of wanting to do something out of love and compassion, empathy.

After a while, you realize that if you do something kind for someone

you’ll reap more happiness when you don’t expect to be paid back. 

A thank-you helps, though, and should be sufficient enough.


After a while you’ll realize that friendship or love is not based upon what was done in the past,

but a track record speaks for itself and one wrong should not be a reason for an ending,

rather, the history of continuous wrong should be. 


After a while you’ll realize when you’re being used

is when the only time someone calls you is when they want something,

and not simply just to talk to you. 

After a while you’ll realize though, that you do the same thing sometimes-

and recognize that at any given time with any given person

there is always a chance that ulterior motives were behind actions, words, thoughts, etc.



After a while you’ll understand that some friends have significantly more drama than you do,

they get overwhelmed and by them approaching you with it,

should not be seen as a burden, rather, an honor-

for you are their strong shoulder in which they can lean-

that and you probably wear absorbent clothing.

But after a while if the gesture isn’t reciprocated

the results can be far more damaging to you if you allow it to continue.


After a while you begin to realize that the only thing in your life

you have complete control over is yourself and your own actions.

What others do, should not be allowed to affect you,

instead, should make you stronger and pose as an experience

to add to your treasure of wisdom.


After a while you will realize that the only people guaranteed to love you for all time

are your children who will love you regardless of

how you look, how much or how little you have.

Don’t neglect these small hearts that are so easily broken.

The loss of love of your child is something that is the emotional equivalent of apocalypse-

it is sad that some could live through that apocalypse.


After a while you will realize that if you allow someone to break a promise,

the individual will continue breaking those promises

and in turn, will lose all their credibility.

Same could be said about the promises that you make yourself.


After a while you’ll realize that bad habits die hard, and no one does a 180 overnight

and sometimes they fall back into the same routine.

How much they change, is measured by how much they want to.


After a while you’ll understand that people will do what they want

regardless of how you feel, and these individuals care more for a trophy

and what is convenient, than what is real but has to be worked for or earned.


After a while, you’ll realize that when you’re lonely

prayer is the best answer, and sometimes answers come through for you

in the most peculiar of ways.


After a while expectations are met with disappointment

we realize that what we expect is something we would do ourselves

if the situation was reversed.

Then after a while you’ll realize soon after the anger subsides,

that is the reason we became angry in the first place-

and the epiphany strikes-not everyone thinks as you do. 


After a while you realize that age does in fact matter, and is more than just a number.

With age comes knowledge, maturity, and wisdom

but no one can walk the same path as you,

or have the same knowledge, insight, or life experiences as you.

For each road traveled by each individual in this life varies significantly from one another

despite how similar they are, nor how close you are to that person.


After a while sometimes people cling to those distant individuals within our lives

while ignoring the ones who are the closest.


After a while you realize that you don’t need someone else to fight your battles for you

that the strength of experience should enable you to do so-

but it is reassuring knowing you have someone in your corner.


After a while you realize that social media simply reinforces passive aggression

and the impact you want to make is lessened by the amount that this practice is done.

More power goes to the person who tells someone face-to-face

and from that bravery of telling someone how you feel directly

will earn you respect regardless of the outcome-whether positive or negative.


After a while you realize that though high school is a thing of the past

real life outside of those brick walls carries with it some similarity.

You realize that adult bullies are just as bad as the ones in school.

In some cases, worse for time and wisdom made them more clever

and gave them more ammunition, a broader vocabulary, and wider resources.


After a while though you realize that when acting on impulse when emotions are high

it’s better to keep your mouth closed before you react-

for how you feel now, isn’t necessarily how you will feel later. 

Don’t say it, unless it’s meant with a clear head,

for emotions have a tendency of being temporary

when you’re thrust into the heat of the moment. 

Then again, there are those times when keeping a closed mouth

is darn near impossible.

This applies to everyone no matter who you are or how level-headed you may regularly be.

There is always something that strikes a nerve within you causing you to react rather than think.

The recipient of the tongue lashing should keep in mind this fatal flaw

for there is a good chance they have succumbed to this tendency a time or two. 


After a while you realize every action or decision you make-or chose not to make

is fully equipped with a consequence that you have to live with. 


After a while you realize that there will always be someone out there that judges what you do

and no matter how much you try, what you say, or how you say it, or even what you do,

it will never change.

The only person you need to prove anything to, is yourself

and if you are happy in what you do, then who are they to judge you?

But if what you do hurts other people, who are you to judge their opinion and feelings?


After a while you realize that good intentions aren’t always the best intentions

and they sometimes have a way of backfiring. 


After a while the understanding and knowledge that you have attained

will broaden as you age

and the list of insight and small-servings of wisdom you have now

will eventually grow into that of a banquet-

for those who are older, tend to be the ones who are the wisest.

The impact of your knowledge poses as a soup kitchen for those are in need of it-

that is if they choose to listen-


After a while, you begin to laugh at the naiveté of youth;

for those who are young believe that they know everything,

but those older believe that there is still so much more to learn.

And those who are young tend to look for what is easy, at least in some ways

whereas those older know that nothing worth having ever comes easy,

and if it does come easy, it is not worth having. 


After a while you’ll realize the negative aspects of this list may in fact happen-but only if you let it.

After a while you’ll realize that there is always room for improvement,

always enough kindness and forgiveness to go around,

and there is always enough time to change.  




newkid on the block's picture

Great Post

This is a great post.... I am impressed by the wisdom of you words and sincerely hope that your thought process that ended up in this post came through the wisdom of watching others and learning from their experience!

And I have to completely agree with your last few words:

//After a while you’ll realize that there is always room for improvement,

always enough kindness and forgiveness to go around,

and there is always enough time to change. //

Afterall, no one is perfect and life is nothing but an continuous learning experience so it all boils down to improving oneself and learning to love and forgive and show the kindness to everyone including the ones that does not deserve it (according to our own  judgements!).

I have also seen people who are too quick to judge others and except others to fall into their standards which is also the cause for mystery. In these times of hardships, many a times I cannot help but think that I could have been very easily one of those unfortunate people - all it takes for me is to run into a dry patch of unemployment. So I never make fun of anyone who runs into tough time of their life. I always make it a point to show them respect for their effort in fighting back to get their in life in order and show my empathies.




Mercer Smith's picture

Is this an original poem of

Is this an original poem of yours? Lyrics, maybe? Very cool! I hadn't thought of using my own writing as a blog post, but that's definitely a great idea, and even better is the fact that the words in your writing are incredibly wise!I really liked the repetition of "After a while," I thought it was effective and definitely put the childhood/college mentality into perspective. I think what I most appreciated about this was the idea of knowledge and learning increasing exponentially as you get older. Something that I think people forget frequently is that, while it's very important to learn things from books in college, it's also important to be able to survive on your the "streets," as it were. Many people think that just because they got straight As in college they will be able to get whatever they want. Unfortunately, if you don't take the things you learned in college and apply them as well as utilizing the plethora of your own experience that you will develop as you age and grow. Something that I might recommend in terms of revisions of this piece (if you are looking to do so), is to make the phrases less vague, and potentially pay a little bit closer attention to formatting. Some of the stanzas are off-kilter, and in some places you use rhyme and in others you don't. :] Good luck!

jvstanley's picture

Yup, original poem

Yeah, this is an original poem, and although awkward in areas, its free verse and i was advised by the many writers who have reviewed this poem on another site ( it kinda works as it is...and honestly its a work in progress.  I have since added a few more stanzas because i've learned a few more lessons since this was originally posted.  I also suggested the reviewers add their own stanzas in the comments of the lessons they have learned.  So I suppose as a poem, it is constantly evolving and will probably continue to evolve just as much as I will within the years ahead.  Thank you for your kind words.  

I think the main reason why i wrote this was because at face value I'm not taken seriously.  When someone looks at me, they assume that I'm not as intelligent or as insightful as I am.  There is a lot more that I have to learn, but people I think have a horrible tendency to underestimate the capabilities and intelligence of others.  They are frowned upon or talked down to and I find that both annoying and insulting sometimes.  I write a lot of poetry, mostly free verse because with something this its hard to maintain a certain format.  I do experiment with other forms of poetry though, which are fun.  

Sometimes I wonder who I will be twenty, thirty, forty years from now...kinda makes you wonder how much we have left to grow...

newkid on the block's picture

//When someone looks at me,

//When someone looks at me, they assume that I'm not as intelligent or as insightful as I am.//

This statement from you reminded me something that happened during my school days. We have a 10+2 year format of schooling. At the 10th year there is a state level exam and again at the 12th year another state level exam. I got the school first rank during my 10th year exam and decided to continue in the same school for the rest of the two years. I chose maths with science as my course for those years and we had a new physics teacher who joined us that year.

Since I was familiar with school and always topped the class, I was chosen as the leader and all the teachers kind of pushed me to the front for everything. However that physics teacher treated me in a way that always discouraged me. Once I had severe cramps and could not attend his class and unfortunately we has a test that day. The next day he humiliated me in front of the whole class telling me that I was using stomach ache and cramps as an excuse for not taking the test. He also once told me that "You do not look like some one who can get the school first rank".

I struggled a lot in his class and although I liked physics could not bring myself to involve myself in that subject.

This behavior of judging people's intelligence and talent by their looks is very rampant, unfortunately. But, as you pointed out, everyone is learning continuously and evolving - that is life!


Hearty Marial's picture

Nice One

This is a great post! This would wake up those who are feeling down and are hopeless. There are times in our life when we tend to forget that there is still tomorrow, which means another chance to keep on going and to keep on moving forward. We must make our days as productive as it could be, if not then at least a day filled with hopes and joy. There came a time in my life when I almost broke down, that was the time when the motorcycle I’m riding, which is not even mine bumped into a car, I destroyed the side-mirror and even almost got the entire area blown because the accident happened in a gas station. The owner of the car asked me to pay 25,000.00 pesos and that money is too much for a student like me, and my family can’t afford that. I never told my family about that, only my school and my friends knew. They were asking me how I was able to survive that very critical situation in my life, I was even summoned to the court because I can’t pay. I survived though it’s tough because my mother during that time wouldn’t support me emotionally, and that really broke my heart, but what can I do? Still I survived. That happened way back 4 years ago and when people ask me why I was able to survive, I will just tell them; “I just trusted myself, I didn’t relied on anybody else, just myself, a lot and believed that this is just a trial, a trial in which if I would survived, would make me much more stronger than I was.” And this is related to the line in this blog that goes… “After a while you realize that you don’t need someone else to fight your battles for you that the strength of experience should enable you to do so but it is reassuring knowing you have someone in your corner.”

Hearty Marial's picture

Another one

Another part of this blog which I could relate much is this;


“After a while sometimes people cling to those distant individuals within our lives while ignoring the ones who are the closest.”


I once experienced clinging to those people who are distant to me because I had to use them for me to reach the top. After attending city wide athletic meets, I would people whom I know would help me reach the top, would help me improve my rank and so, so what I did was I did everything just to get close to them, and so we did, I succeeded! Eventually, we became buddies, we party all together, we practice together, dine, shop, play and a whole lot more. I never noticed that I already forgot to go with my close friends. They got mad at me of course, they wouldn’t answer my calls, and when I ask for their presence, they wouldn’t come. Until one day, me and my ex-girlfriend broke-up, I needed someone to talk to, I called my team mates, as what I call them and yes, they did came but they weren’t listening to me, they were laughing at each other and drinking. I walked away and just cried on a corner, and someone patted my back, it was my closest friend who never answered my call, didn’t talk to me and stuff. He told me that he doesn’t have the heart to just let me break down. I hugged him and realized how important my close friends are. So if you’ve got one or two, or more, treasure them because no money, fame, medals and certificates could ever surpass their value in your life. 

Hearty Marial's picture

More from me

This is my 3rd comment on this post already, well I just love the blog, if only I could comment on every line, then I would. ^_^

I read the blog once again and these lines caught my attention;


“The only person you need to prove anything to, is yourself


and if you are happy in what you do, then who are they to judge you?


With this first line, I could really relate to this since I had been judged the moment I enrolled to the school where I am right now. When I was still in the state university, I was a drunkard college student, who smokes a lot and would only come to class during examinations. Nobody cares, not even the professor would care, as long as you take your major examinations and some major quizzes. So when I transferred to this catholic school, students judged me for being someone who isn’t nice because of what I do. They even see me as someone who does not belong to them, because I don’t know how, but the officers of my college knew that I was a leftist. They would say that I play with girls’ feelings, that I’m no good, so and so. They just don’t know what I’ve been through with my ex-girlfriends, they just know how I survived for being a left, and they just don’t know how I treated people. But eventually, they realized that I was not the person they used to think of me. I started bonding and chit chatting with them and they apologized for judging me before.

They realized that I am happy with what I am doing so they just have to deal with it. 

Hearty Marial's picture

Last One

And this is the last one,


But if what you do hurts other people, who are you to judge their opinion and feelings?


I have done some things that hurt other people but thank go I am aware of those. I would apologize though that person is really not close to me, I would apologize for what I did to him or her and would start establishing good friendship with that person. Sometimes I like it when I hurt people, when they hurt me because after confrontations, we begin to create a good foundation for our friendship, our relationship is much stronger and the bond that we have is tighter.  Sometimes there are really people who would not accept apologies, but me? I sincerely forgive people who have caused me pain. When I get mad, I am really mad and no one could destroy the pride I have, it is only I who can control that pride. My friends will just shut their mouths when they will hear that I have some conflict with someone because they know that after some time, my heart would soften and I would then apologize to the person whom I caused so much trouble or sincerely give my forgiveness to the person who caused me pain. I don’t judge others’ feelings or opinions either. I don’t care if that’s how they think of me, what I will just do is try to change the way they see me by showing to them who I really am. I respect other’s opinions thought we don’t share the same ones.