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Greatness, yard stick measured cause we have no frame of reference. We watch them sit back in the big chairs with charts and graphs. It’s a numbers game few really win, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to climb those pretty little bars. If we only understood those bars are actually the cages we’re kept in; something to hold us back, away from the few that manage to reach beyond.

Occasionally the door swings wide or they forget to close it. You’re given a glimpse of freedom. Having been confined for so long it seems blinding almost unreachable. As you reach past the bars the whispers will start. “Don’t put that hand out too far.” The voices snap, but do you stop consider the origin before pulling back?

At first thought you’re sure it’s “them”, the one’s held in shadow, because they’re masters at keeping you tucked safe away. At least that’s what you tell yourself while backing away from the crumbling cliff side, because it’s scary out there in the great big world. One step past the charts, away from the comfort of steady ground, and you could fall straight into darkness.

But what if you could tear away from the blindness? Looked into the corners when the light invades them? Would reality strike like a rattlesnake? The reflection might startle you enough to see the truth. But you’re captivated by the one thing you can’t reach and why not? It’s such a pretty dream.

The reality you’ve yet to see is the bars are transparent. Projections of fear rendered by a mind conditioned to perform inside the cage. If a lock was fastened neatly against the door it might make more sense, but even that’s missing. Though you don’t seem to notice because it’s comfortable in here and there’s plenty of room. Besides, who wants to chance stumbling through the unknown?

The fact is few are willing. Those who do find that the “they” keeping you back is actually “you” reflected in the fun house mirrors lining the walls. Distorted visions of potential and greatness measured by some invisible scale. The weight they carry is that of promise, of what might be if all the planets align. The failure comes because there’s no action in promise, only the potential for greatness, and everyone has it.

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