Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Builders & Wreckers...

The poem below is one I’ve had in my collection for years but never known the author. But I like the metaphor of demolition versus building when it comes to character.

It’s so much easier to be the naysayer, to shoot ideas down, to criticize, to be the pessimist. Having the character to lift others, to plan, to improve and build is more labor intensive but certainly leaves a better end result.

I watched them tearing a building down.
A gang of men in a busy town;
With a ho-heave-ho and a lusty yell
They swung a beam and the sidewalk fell.
I asked the foreman: "Are these men skilled,
And the men you'd hire if you had to build?"
He gave a laugh and said "No, indeed!
Just common labor is all I need.
I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do!"

And I thought to myself as I went my way,
Which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?
Am I shaping my deeds to a well-made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing down.