No. 55

Several years ago, my wife and I attended a communications seminar in Phoenix, Arizona. During this time we had the opportunity to get to know Cavett Robert, who was one of the founders of The National Speakers Association. Sitting around the dinner table at the Camelback Inn in nearby Scottsdale with Cavett and his wife, Trudie, 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 chord 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 to take care of them. When it comes to legitimate needs, through no fault of their own there are millions of people who are mentally and physically handicapped and they cannot provide for themselves. These people need our help and it's our responsibility to take care of them, but there are millions of others who have a healthy mind and body who must learn or re-learn to accept responsibility 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 for them to change. The rest of us can provide positive encouragement to these people who are getting off welfare, and in doing so we are helping our country, as well. 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 and 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 shootin' sort and call you a wonderful gal or guy, but the one in the glass says you're 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 he is through.” It’s not what we get, it’s what we give that really counts. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)