Work Hard & Dream Big

by August Smith

Welcome! Thanks for coming to our
monthly meeting. Please enjoy the
generous spread of cheese and crackers
I’ve arranged. Today, I’m happy
to say that our numbers are up.
They’re way way up. Our numbers are
fucking stellar. Fifteen hundred,
for example. Simply stellar.
Our sales, too, are off-the-charts, but
as this chart illustrates, not literally.
Next, my friends, I’d like you to gaze
at this inspirational picture of a horse
prancing on a beach, the sunset
center-frame and velvet-sodden,
a looming planet-sized ruby.
Note the inspirational quote
written on the bottom in that
huge and motivating typeface:
WORK HARD & DREAM BIG.
Take it in, my friends. It’s stellar.
Please keep this in mind because
we’ll be coming back to it later.
Remember: work hard and dream big
at the same time. Just like the horse
prancing on the beach is doing.
Stellar! Moving on: this pie chart,
showing what we want you to “give”
every day at work. Notice how
it equals one hundred percent.
Next, your questions. Are there any questions?
Colleagues? Trustees? Any questions?
Stellar. At this point, the horse
has arrived at the end of the beach.
She fixes her eyes on the sun
as the last lavender sliver of day
drowns its light in the waves, giving form
to the crystalline mane of the Milky Way.
Why, the horse wondered, was she here?
Who had placed her by this ocean,
on this infinite, endless, idyllic beach?
She remembers a speech about… sails?
About numbers and charts… about cheese…?
But it doesn’t feel clear or coherent…
And a strange and abnormal desire
to work hard— and perhaps even dream big—
seems to urge and inform every step.
The horse turns around, facing the length
of the beach once again, with the sun
upon the horizon again.
Walking on the fluorescent sand
colored red in the fading sunlight,
she thinks to herself in huge
and motivating letters
WORK HARD & DREAM BIG.
And that, my truly stellar friends
and colleagues, is in itself
the very picture of inspiration.
Let’s give it up for the picture
of the horse.

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