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He cannot read his tombstone when he’s dead.

He cannot read his tombstone when he’s dead.

My part cowboy, part German mother wrangles my part Dutch, part cowboy son into memorizing (half of) a cowboy poem on this sparkly Thanksgiving morning.

Pick any day of the year and some friend dies while another family member has a baby born. A neighbor learns of an illness and a colleague gets married. Ups and downs, backs and forths, steps forward and backward. But today is a day of recollection.

Hopefully we poke along our dusty trail and admire the autumn leaves as they turn red and orange and fall silently to the ground. We take the time to literally stop and smell the flowers as we might not ever pass those flowers again. We giddy up and get going for the fast stretch through the valley and lumber over the rocky ridge.

We’ll get there, but I don’t know–or terribly care–where there is. We’re here now and we’ll be here until tomorrow. Then we’ll be there. So as Mr. Braley says, If you like him or you love him, tell him now. Give thanks today, be thankful today, and don’t withhold your approbation¬†till the parson makes oration … for he cannot read his tombstone when he’s dead.

Do it Now
by Berton Braley

If with pleasure you are viewing
any work a man is doing,
If you like him or you love him,
tell him now;
Don’t withhold your approbation
till the parson makes oration
And he lies with snowy lilies on his brow;
No matter how you shout it
he won’t really care about it;
He won’t know how many teardrops you have shed;
If you think some praise is due him
now’s the time to slip it to him,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he’s dead.

More than fame and more than money
is the comment kind and sunny
And the hearty, warm approval of a friend.
For it gives to life a savor,
and it makes you stronger, braver,
And it gives you heart and spirit to the end;
If he earns your praise – bestow it,
if you like him let him know it,
Let the words of true encouragement be said;
Do not wait till life is over
and he’s underneath the clover,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he’s dead.

Don't withhold your approbation 'til the parson makes oration.

Don’t withhold your approbation ’til the parson makes oration.

About The Author

Bradley

I don't like to call them excuses. They're priorities. With a handful of exceptions, we usually have a choice in our actions. They just need to be prioritized.

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