And nobody cared about you,
If nobody spoke a word of cheer
To help you your long day through.
If all the joy went to the great
And nothing remained for the small,
Then surely the world would be upside down
And hardly worth while at all.
This is the poem on a Birthday card that my Grandma sent me a long time ago, well over thirty years as she died in 1981. I kept it for so long, in a frame on the wall of every room I’ve ever used for my writing – whether that was a room of my own or a spare bedroom. Sometimes I looked up and read the words and most times I quite possibly never looked at it at all. I didn’t have to, I knew it was there when I needed to remind myself that times would get better, things would improve, no one has it all good or all bad regardless of wealth and opportunity. I’ve no idea who wrote it for there are no details on it. It could be by someone well known or it could have been by a writer who earned his or her living by writing verses for cards among other things. It doesn’t really matter, it’s the words that are important.
How many of us can quote a line of two of verse that has resonated with us and we have no idea who wrote them. What about “At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we shall remember them” ( For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon) or “They also serve who only stand and wait” (On His Blindness by John Milton) or even “What is this life so full of care we have no time to stand and stare.” (Leisure by W. H. Davies). Words that are so familiar, that resonate with so many of us in times of reflection, times of hardship.
Words are so important, used wrongly they can wound and inflict pain but used well they can soothe the soul, inspire and educate. Make sure you choose your words well. And while you’re thinking about your words why not use them to heal and enter this year’s Words For The Wounded competition.
And if anyone knows who write the words on the card please let me know.