On Valentine’s Day, 2021….
Friday’s e-mail brought this from our friend, Annelee Woodstrom, retired high school teacher, Teacher of the Year finalist in Minnesota in 1980, 94 years young, whose first 21 years of life were spent in Germany, including the entirety of the Third Reich, and who came to rural Minnesota as an immigrant, in 1947, the state which became and remains her home and native land.
Annelee: I gave this poem to my students before they left my classes.
THE MAN IN THE GLASS
When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what the man has to say.
For it isn’t a man’s mother or father or wife,
Whose judgment you have to pass;
The fellow whose verdict counts most in this life
Is the man staring back from the glass.
Some people may think you’re a straight-shooting chum
And call you 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.
He is the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
For he is with you, clear up to the end,
And you have passed your most dangerous, difficult test
When the man in glass is your friend.
You can fool the whole world, down the pathway of years,
And get pats on your back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you have cheated the man in the glass.
Here is the rest of Annelee’s note:
I wish I could hand this poem to every Republican Representative and Senator who plans to vote against the impeachment of Trump. Surely, they must shudder at the image that stares back at them from their mirror. The coward that they have become — must shake their soul.
Because — in the end it doesn’t count where we came from — we will be responsible and we will be judged by the decisions we made.
POSTNOTE at the end of the week: How was this week just passed for you – this week that began with the Super Bowl, ends with Valentine’s Day, today, was surrounded by the Covid-19 pandemic and general uncertainty about many things, and in between was what may well be one of the most important weeks in our personal and national history?
This past week, as I saw it can be read at this space at Feb 6, 7, 9 and 12, 2021. Let’s build from here…. Have a good day.
COMMENTS (more at end of post):
from Christina: I just forwarded your email to my kids and my sister. I thought the message from that school teacher, the man in the glass, was so important and appropriate. I too wish that everyone of those senators and representatives had read that before they voted. Thanks for sending it to me.
from Anna: Happy Valentines Day to you and all your followers in your writings. They have been insightful and helping some people in making their decisions about our political process going on in our world of today. This is a difficult time for some. Hopefully we will come out stronger at the end of our times of stress. No opinions from me just compassion for the ones going through unreal times.
from Flo: I can only say I’m sad. From the time T….. appeared on the political scene as wanting to run for President, I was appalled that anyone could support his very public sleazy lifestyle and mostly juvenile talk. Then he became President, seemingly defying all odds. We’re a dangerously divided country, politically.
from Jeff: from NYTimes “Can Biden Save Americans Like My Old Pal Mike?” [Here’s the link; also in pdf form: NYTimes Kristoff Feb 14 2021 This may be expanded into a separate blog in the near future.].
From Annelee (who sent the poem printed above):