Success and Failure


The first son was the sun of the family; he was everyone’s source of pride. His adroitness was evident when at ten years old he received the Best Student Lifetime Award, a recognition only given to a student with the best academic performance for three years in a row.

The same year his younger brother was caught off guard stealing his friend’s money at school. He was expelled from the school, and moved to another one.

At twenty years old the first son received a scholarship from his high school, while his younger brother had his first encounter with marijuana. Two months later he spent a year and a half in a rehab.

The second millennium, the year 2000, went by when the parents were convinced that their first son, would forever be the sun of their family. He won a full scholarship to the United States of America while he wasn’t even twenty four. Promising his family reports of his achievement perpetuity, he said he would be overseas for another six years until he completed his doctorate.

Two days after the departure of his older brother, the second son got his girlfriend pregnant. At the age of 20, he had a son and a wife, but no job and no house. Living on the edge of destitution, his family was certain that he was a total failure.

Six years later the first son returned to his homeland and got married. Soon he built a company and performed a pilgrimage to Mecca, establishing himself a well-respected figure in the society.

In the same year, the second son, still with no permanent job, had his second child born. After dropping out college, he decided to pursue his ambition to be a full-time musician. His family thought the man was out of his mind.

Everything looked like in order. But life is a constant change. The world will not forever be days with bright light, neither will it forever be nights enveloped in pitch darkness.

To everyone’s surprise, the first son’s business collapsed a year later. His company was found in pallid morbidity, enmeshed by corruption allegations involving his company’s director and managers. After found guilty with drug possession, he was sentenced to two years in prison. He lived in distress especially when he found out that his property was taken over by his business rivals. His anguish grew larger when he found his wife left him a month later.

Meanwhile, the second son found his way to stardom when he met a producer. She was impressed and offered him to record an album. An hour after signing the contract he strode to a cemetery and placed a bouquet of flowers. In grief he prayed for his older brother who committed suicide the week before.

The first son’s successes were irrefutable, but he never learned  anything from what he had achieved.

On the contrary, his younger brother, despite the major defeats in his early life, was a man who was never tired of learning from his failures.

Written by Subhan Zein in Canberra, 17 January 2012

9 thoughts on “Success and Failure

  1. What a touchy story, Bung Subhan. As a scholarship recipient as well as a musician, reading your story is indeed motivating as I am ‘caught in the middle’ of the story’s main actors :).
    Keep up the good work. Words will always change the world.

    • You wonderful comments reflect your wonderful soul, Mas Rian! 🙂 Not sure if I deserve it, but I take it as a compliment..

      Please consider following my blog, Mas Riyan, if you haven’t. That way we could keep inspiring each other. 🙂

      Warm regards,

      Subhan Zein

  2. It is very inspiring how importance is continuing learning and failure in our life. The story tells us at individual level. How do we learn for a bigger entity called state? Thank for your response

    • Thank you for your comments and question, Mas Delmus. I believe that a great nation comprises of great people, and great people comprises of great individuals. There is no great nation without great people, and there’s no great people without great individuals.

      So, let’s strive for greatness for the greatness of our people and the greatness of your nation! 🙂

      Thank you for your question, it gave me an inspiration to write a story! 🙂

      Please consider following my blog, Mas Delmus, so we could keep inspiring each other.. 🙂

      Warm regards,

      Subhan Zein

    • Terimakasih, Mbak Ririn.. 🙂 Saya hanya belajar menyalakan lilin untuk membantu menerangi dunia. Yuk, ikutan follow biar lilinya semakin benderang. 🙂

  3. Oh, once again, you’re being so generous with your comment. Not sure if I deserve it, but I sincerely thank you for that. 🙂

    Yeah, absolutely… it’s fictitional. I just thought that it’d be great to share it with people. And, please feel free to share it with anyone in your blog chain. That’d do everyone of us a great favor. Many thanks!~~

    Regards,

    Subhan Zein

  4. This was really great….the world thinks success is the only award to measure one’s life….and so why would they think about failures ?….you really showed that, it’s fictional, right ???…..aha, just beautiful work you are doing…:)

Thank you

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