No. 1203



Several years ago I had the opportunity to attend a communications seminar in Phoenix, Arizona. During this time I met and got to know a wonderful gentleman by the name of Cavett Robert, who was one of the founders of the National Speakers Association. Sitting around the table at the Camelback Inn in nearby Scottsdale with Cavett, he said something in regard to accepting responsibility for ourselves that I have never forgotten. He said, “When many people are born and their umbilical cord is cut, they spend the next 50 years trying to find a place to plug it back in.”
While they would never state it in this way, today there are millions of people in our nation who believe it’s their parents, the government or someone else’s responsibility to provide for their needs and take care of them. When it comes to legitimate needs, through no fault of their own, there are also millions of people who are mentally and physically handicapped and they cannot provide for themselves.
Since the politicians in Washington have changed welfare “as we know it,” many of the people who are being forced off welfare are having a hard time dealing with it. Rather than being down on these people, what most of us need to realize is that this kind of thinking goes back to the earliest days of their childhood, and it’s so deeply ingrained that it will take many years to change. The rest of us can provide positive encouragement to these people who are getting off welfare, and in doing so are helping our country. While it has to be on an individual case-by-case basis, when many of these people are trained and have a good paying job, they will see things differently and have a sense of pride and self-respect they have never known before.
Along these lines, I discovered a poem several years ago titled “The One in the Glass,” that has been a blessing to me. I hope you will think about it as it relates to your life.
The One in the Glass
As you go through life in your struggle for self, and the world makes you King or Queen for a day, just go to a mirror and look at yourself and see what that person has to say. For it isn’t your father or mother or spouse whose judgment upon you must pass, but the one whose verdict counts most in your life, is the one staring back in the glass. Some people may think you are a straight shooting sort and call you a wonderful gal or guy, but the one in the glass says you are only a bum, if you can’t look him straight in the eye. He or she is the one to please, never mind all the rest, for they are with you clear up to the end, and you have passed your most dangerous, difficult task, if the one in the glass is your friend. You may fool the whole world down the pathway of life and get pats on the back as you pass, but your final reward will be heartaches and tears, if you have cheated the one in the glass.” Author Unknown
If you have family or friends who could benefit from this poem, why not clip it out, make copies and share it with them? The United States of America is a great land, and our economic and political systems are based on the merits of the individual. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “An individual is a bundle of possibilities and he is worth what life may get out of him before his is through.” It’s not what we get; it’s what we give that really counts.
(Editor’s Note: JIM DAVIDSON is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states, making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)