Amy Rees Anderson

Worth While

I really appreciate poems and quotes and talks that remind me of truths we all know, but too often forget. This poem was written over a hundred years ago but its message is still relevant to all of us today:

Worth While  by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

It is easy enough to be pleasant,
When life flows by like a song,
But the man worth while is one who will smile,
When everything goes dead wrong.
For the test of the heart is trouble,
And it always comes with the years,
And the smile that is worth the praises of earth
Is the smile that shines through tears.

It is easy enough to be prudent,
When nothing tempts you to stray,
When without or within no voice of sin
Is luring your soul away;
But it’s only a negative virtue
Until it is tried by fire,
And the life that is worth the honor on earth
Is the one that resists desire.

By the cynic, the sad, the fallen,
Who had no strength for the strife,
The world’s highway is cumbered to-day,
They make up the sum of life.
But the virtue that conquers passion,
And the sorrow that hides in a smile,
It is these that are worth the homage on earth
For we find them but once in a while.

(Poems of sentiment by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Chicago, IL : W. B. Conkey Company, c1906.)

What a great poem! It’s totally true that it is easy to be happy when life is going good and it is easy to behave yourself when you aren’t facing any temptations, but it takes real strength of character and courage to smile through the tough times and to do the right thing when you are surrounded by temptations to do the wrong thing. What a great reminder to start a day with!  Have a great one everyone!

~Amy

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