If you sometimes feel like you have to fight to keep ahead in life, think of this poem and realize that the path to greatness, while it is sometimes punctuated with exciting successes and thrilling bursts of speed, is primarily paved with difficulty, stress and hard work. Sometimes, when life seems the hardest, that’s the very time that you grow.
Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with challenges, remember that the woman or man who overcomes the most strife is also often the one who makes the greatest contribution to this world. This principle is beautifully illustrated in the poem below…
Trees and Men
The tree that didn’t have to fight,
For sun and sky and air and light,
But lived out on the open plain,
And always got its share of rain;
Never became a forest king,
But lived and died a scrubby thing.
The man who never tasted spoil,
The man who never had to toil,
That never had to win his share,
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man,
But lived and died where he began.
Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger the winds, the tougher the trees;
The further the sky, the greater the length,
The more the storms, the more the strength.
By sun and cold and rain and snow,
In tree or man, good timbers grow;
Where the thickest stands the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both,
Who hold, and converse with the stars,
Whose broken branches show many scars,
Of many winds and much of strife,
This is the common law of life.