What We Leave Undone

Here is another poem that is so blog-worthy.

On reading it, I immediately typed it up, and pasted it up so I could read the words frequently.

I'll let the words of the poem speak for themselves.



It isn't the things you do, dear

It's the things you leave undone,

That gives you the bitter heartache

At the setting of the sun;


The tender word unspoken,

The letter you did not write,

The flower you might have sent, dear

Are your haunting ghosts at night.


The stone you might have lifted

Out of your brother's way,

The bit of heartfelt  counsel

You were hurried too much to say;


The loving touch of the hand dear,

The gentle and winsome tone,

That you had no time or thought for,

With troubles enough of your own.


These little acts of kindness,

So easily out of mind,

These chances to be angels,

Which even mortals find.

They come in nights of silence,

To take away the grief,

When hope is faint and feeble,

And a drought has stopped belief.


A life is all too short, dear,

And sorrow is all too great,

To allow our slow compassion

That tarries until too late.


And its not the thing you do, dear,

Its the thing you leave undone,

That gives you the bitter heartache,

At the setting sun.

                                               Adelaide Proctor.


I have to share that I especially related to her phrase of "our slow compassion".

Why do we hesitate, when we see a need, and are pricked to extend some act of kindness?

I think its because we have all been "burned" in some way by people we have tried to help.

Most of us can immediately recall a time when we have tried to help, and that person did not appreciate or even say thanks.  Or worse, found fault. 

We all know,  I am sure, those individuals  who when you do try to be nice towards or help out, turn into a bit of a "Needy Nelly".  It sounds harsh, I know, but too true.

So, what is our natural human tendency?

A "slow  compassion".

We over-think it.

We start to question what will it cost us.

I have done it, lots of time.

As I have shared before, our  biggest obstacles our often ourselves.  I spend too much time thinking of myself.

This poem resonated with me, and really challenged me.

I try not to look or even expect the "thank you".  Try to look at those irritating people with Mercy.

My favorite passage is:

They come in nights of silence

to take away the grief,

when hope is  faint and feeble

and a drought has stopped belief.


When you or I do step out, try to encourage or help someone, it's likely our encourement will lift them up much latter, during "their nights of silence" or their own "drought of disbelief".

So I challange myself, I challange anyone reading this:

Don't leave those things undone.

Don't look for the big thank you.

Don't complicaint simply acts of kindess.

Happy Thankgivings to all!






One thought on “What We Leave Undone

  1. So true, so true. I love it! I printed it! Those simple acts of kindness are usually the most meaningful, the things that impact lives the most. I find myself looking forward to the latest poem. Thanks for inspiring. love you as always


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