As Director of Planned Giving for the United Way of Martin County Foundation, I recently addressed more than 40 of our affiliated agencies during a meeting to kick off our annual campaign.
Instead of giving the history of the Foundation, I read a poem. I believe literature and poetry helps to tell stories, connecting the head and heart. I read the following poem, The Bridge, by Will Allen Dromgoole, because it helps explain who we are, what we do and our vision for the future.
Today, I share this poem with you. It helps to explain the importance of giving of ourselves, be it time, talent or treasure, to help build a brighter future for others.
Will Allen Dromgoole
An old man going a long, high way,
Came, at the evening cold and gray.
To a chasm vast and wide and steep,
With water rolling cold and deep.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fears for him,
But he turned, when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here,
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way,
You’ve crossed the chasm deep and wide,
Why build you this bridge at eventide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head,
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today,
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
The chasm that was as naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be,
He, too, must cross in twilight dim,
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”