Perseverance against all defying odds is the most prominent overarching message in Robert Frost’s poem, “Two Tramps in Mud Time”. Now, not necessarily just against odds, but it reinforces the concept of self-awareness. This theme portrays a story of an individual that routinely gets challenged, even when they are at their peak. However, despite the individual being at their peak, they don’t stoop to the level of the challenger; instead of taking the path of growth.
“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.”
Personally, this was the most powerful stanza through the entire poem. It advises one to not get ahead of themselves; all the while, absorbing and living in the present. Jumping to conclusions and getting too comfortable may cost you a lot, especially when you lose track of the reality of your immediate surroundings. Once you reach the point of over-confidence, that is when the pillars of the foundation begin to fall.
“Out of the wood two hulking tramps
(From sleeping God knows where last night,
But not long since in the lumber camps).
They thought all chopping was theirs of right.
Men of the woods and lumberjacks,
The judged me by their appropriate tool.
Except as a fellow handled an ax
They had no way of knowing a fool.”
This stanza depicts being over-confident, and uninformed assumptions. The narrator explains how they received direct condescending judgments based on zero merits. Yet, the narrator ensured that they did not lower their character, or contribute to the intolerance. Overall, the narrator minded their own business and focused on the quality of their work. The narrator was able to shut down the judgment in an organic manner, simply by focusing on their work. This is a very important lesson that often goes unnoticed, especially in the competitive work field. Essentially, workers don’t want to stay on one level for all the consecutive years of their employable life. This can make the work field very tense, and one that may carry a cloud of skepticism, concern, and a constant need to compete. People who adhere to this mentality typically lose focus on their goals and their work, because they are instead occupied with constantly being the best person in the world. From experience, I have been surrounded by similar energy and it acknowledging it can be very draining and toxic for a person. The toxicity affects not just from the person receiving it, but from the person distributing it as well. When one distributes that sort of energy, they are projecting on their own incompetence and insecurity. Instead of finding ways to personally improve and grow, they re-direct their interests on finding flaws in other people, instead of making an introspective analysis of themselves.
After multiple internships, jobs, and completing an entire summer internship program in the nation’s capital, I can truthfully say that I have avoided adopting that toxic idealistic mindset. Of course, that type of negative energy will be prevalent as long as you are working towards a goal, but not acknowledging it has better benefits. That type of mindset can be draining if invested into, and it takes away from one’s own chance to grow. I can proudly say that I have avoided participating or reciprocating into that negative mentality as I explore more career options and surround myself with a multitude of environments. This has paid-off for obvious reasons! This has allowed me to take full advantage of the opportunities given to me in this internship program and others. My time in D.C. has been emotionally, and professionally rewarding. Working with the Madison Group has taught me a variety of life lessons that I will carry on to my future work and endeavors. From the people I was closest to at the firm, Robb taught me how to always have a point on-hand ready for an argument, Marcus taught me how to close a deal and appeal your goals to people, Marissa taught me how to defend myself and my values even in tough situations, and David taught me to fight for and to never forget the environment or community you came from. Seeing all of these lessons actively applied to their professional careers and not just as an empty statement was refreshing and tied the overall message together almost as a present. Finally, this summer made me appreciate the city as a whole as I had the opportunity to see it in a new light. I made some very drastic life decisions while I was here in D.C. all of which were made due to the environment I was in. Regardless if I decide to relocate here in the future or not, I am going to embody the lessons I learned during my internship and take with me the fast-paced energy that D.C. executes.