One day my mother put a poem on the kitchen wall to help us realize things could be worse. It was called “Forgive Me When I Whine” and it went something like this:

Today upon a bus I saw a lovely maiden with golden hair.I envied her – she seemed so gay; and, oh I wished I were so fair. When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the isle; She had one foot and wore a crutch, but as she passed, she smiled. Oh, God forgive me when I whine; I have two feet – the world is mine. When exiting the bus across the street there was a newspaper stand. The man selling papers was talking to another gentleman – he had such charm. When he finished I walked over and said “Sir, here is my dime.” He turned and said “Thank you sir.” Then I knew that he was blind. Oh, God forgive me when I whine; I have two eyes – the world is mine. Later while walking down the street, I saw a boy with eyes of blue. He stood and watched the others play, as if he didn’t know what to do. I stopped a moment and said, “Son why don’t you join the others, dear?” He looked ahead without a word and then I knew, he couldn’t hear. Oh, God forgive me when I whine; I have two ears – the world is mine. With feet to take me where I go, with eyes to see the sun-set glow, With ears to hear what I should know. Oh, God forgive me when I whine; I am truly blessed indeed – the world is mine!

I learned this poem when I was young, and whenever things get rough I say it. I tell God “I am truly blessed indeed please forgive me when I whine.”

I often think about the many people throughout the world who have very little and I wish in some way I could help. And then again I say, “God thank you and please forgive me when I whine. I am truly blessed indeed.”

If all of us would think more of what we have rather than what we don’t have, we would be happier. Good health, a job, someone who loves you — these are blessings that make you rich in a special way, more so than money. I truly feel that my training and teaching has helped many people and I hope it will continue long after I am gone.

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