“ If I can throw a single ray of light across the darkened pathway of another;
If I can aid some soul to clearer sight of life and duty and thus, bless my brother;
If I can wipe from any human cheek a tear, I shall not have lived my life in vain while here.
If I can guide some erring one to truth, inspire within his heart a sense of duty;
If I can plant within my soul of rosy youth a sense of right, a love of truth and beauty;
If I can teach one man that GOD and heaven are near, I shall not have lived life in vain while here.
If from my mind I banish doubt and fear, and keep my life attuned to love and kindness;
If I can scatter light and hope and cheer, and help remove the curse of mental blindness;
If I can make more joy, more hope, less pain, I shall not have lived and loved in vain.
If by life’s roadside I can plant a tree, beneath whose shade some wearied head may rest;
Though I may never share its beauty, I shall yet be truly blest
though no one knows my name, nor drops a flower upon my grave, I shall not have lived in vain.”
Francis of Assisi
This poem written by St. Francis of Assisi some eight hundred years ago still holds some very deep meanings for life. When I hang up my spurs for the last time, I want to be able to say I have made a difference in the lives of others along the way. Nothing else seems to make sense. If I have made an honest attempt to serve and honor the GOD who made me, and to make a difference in the lives of others, then my life will have been worthwhile. So as Francis of Assisi says in his poem; go out and plant a tree in the shade somewhere for someone else to rest under. They may not name the tree after you, but others will be glad you planted it!