As we sit through this horrible political season, endless commercials, ravings of hatred and division, I’m proposing something that may seem overwhelming at first, but with rewards that are never ending.
Years ago, I found a poem that has always resonated with me. This was written in 1934 by Peter Dale Wimbrow, Jr. You might like it too.
The Man in the Mirror
When you get all you want and you struggle for wealth
and the world makes you king for a day,
then go to the mirror and look at yourself
and see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your mother, your father or wife
whose judgment upon you must pass,
but the man, whose verdict counts most in your life,
is the one staring back from the glass.
He’s the fellow to please,
never mind all the rest.
For he’s with you right to the end,
and you’ve passed your most difficult test
if the man in the glass is your friend.
You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.
You can fool the whole world,
down the highway of years,
and take pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
if you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
The late, great Michael Jackson gave us this same message. Here’s an excerpt from his 1988 Grammy-winning song “Man in the Mirror”:
As I turn up the collar on my
Favorite winter coat
This wind is blowin’ my mind
I see the kids in the street
With not enough to eat
Who am I, to be blind?
Pretending not to see
A summer’s disregard,
A broken bottle top,
And one’s man’s soul.
They follow each other on
The wind ya know
‘Cause they got nowhere to go.
That’s why I want you to know
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change
And no message could have
Been any clearer.
If you wanna make the world
A better place,
Take a look at yourself, and
Then make a change.
The biggest adventure we can ever take is the adventure of change. I’ve found that as I change my way of thinking, the way I look at other people—no matter how different they are—I will find that I slowly start to feel good about myself and those whose lives I touch.
Read the poem or download the song from YouTube. Either way, this is where the adventure of a lifetime begins.