We all have those people in our lives, beyond family and friends, whose support makes some aspect of our life easier. Support staff at work, people behind the counter everywhere, people working in call centers, all aspects of police and fire support, the person to whom you take your dry cleaning. I could go on. These people have good days and bad days and we likely never take the time to know why.
Of course, you can’t say, “I see you’re having a bad day. Care to share why?” It is a process to learn about them and in some of the examples I gave, the learning is more difficult. For those whose service happens often in your life, a few simple questions; how has your day been or finding a positive response you can give to that same question if they ask you.
Remember, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” On that not, I’m introducing Edgar Guest and then and excerpt from his poem, “When You Know a Fellow.”
From time to time I like to quote Edgar Guest. He has a poem for all occasions. Born in1891 in Birmingham, England, Guest came that same year with his family to the United States. After he began at the Detroit Free Press as a copy boy and then a reporter, his first poem appeared on December 11,1898. He became a naturalized citizen in 1902. For 40 years, Guest wrote sentimental, optimistic poems and was widely read throughout North America.
From his first published work in the Detroit Free Press until his death in 1959, Guest penned some 11,000 poems which were syndicated in some 300 newspapers and collected in more than 20 books, including A Heap o’ Livin’ (1916) and Just Folks (1917). Guest was made Poet Laureate of Michigan, the only poet to have been awarded the title.
When You Know a Fellow
When you get to know a fellow, know his joys and know his cares,
When you’ve come to understand him and the burdens that he bears,
When you’ve learned the fight he’s making and the troubles in his way,
Then you find that his is different than you thought him yesterday.
You find his faults are trivial and there’s not much to blame
In the brother that you jeer at when you only knew his name.
You are quick to see the blemish in the distant neighbor’s style,
You can point to al his errors and may sneer at him awhile,
And your prejudices fatten and you hates more violent grow,
As you talk about the failures of the man you do not know,
But when drawn a little closer, and you hands and shoulders touch,
You find the traits you hated really don’t amount to much.
There are two more stanzas and I encourage you to read Edgar if you haven’t already.
Update – Infusions have changed to Monday so I’m six days from my last one. The next one is tomorrow. The side effects have been minimal. My hair loss is in a holding pattern. I look as if I should be auditioning for the part of a gunnery sergeant in an old Marine movie. I like the sound of it, “Hey Gunney, what should I do with this extra ammo?” On a sad note, I may have lost my taste for beer. Sue and I went to dinner, I ordered my favorite and I sent it back thinking it was from a bad batch. I ordered my second favorite with the same result. Finally, I ordered a sample of a beer the waitress was sure I would like and I only took a sip. Sorry Lamke, you know have one less beer-drinking buddy. I’ll try a Cosmopolitan next time.
Seriously, all is well. To quote a Lakota prayer, “I asked to live happily, that I might enjoy life, I was given life, so I might live happily.”
Stay strong, Keep on Keeping On