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Melba's Swap Shop

The Value of Friends

DEAR READERS: Ruth Thompson, of Oklahoma City, recently gave me a newspaper clipping from The Oklahoman. Some of you may have saved it, but some were not even born at that time. It was my column dated Nov. 21, 1989. She had saved it for the following poem, "The Making of Friends." It was from "Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest" and was dated 1934.


If nobody smiled and nobody cheered and nobody helped us along

If each and every minute looked after himself and good things went to the strong

If nobody cared just a little for you and nobody thought about me

And we stood alone in the battle of life, what a dreary old world it would be

If there were no such things as a flag in the sky as a symbol of comradeship here

If we lived as the animals live in the woods with nothing held sacred or dear

And selfishness ruled us from birth to the end and never a neighbor had we

And never we gave to another in need, what a dreary old world it would be!

Oh, if we were rich as the richest on earth and strong as the strongest that lives

Yet never we knew the delight and the charm of the smile which the other man gives.

If kindness were never a part of ourselves though we owned all the land we could see

And friendship meant nothing at all to us here, what a dreary old world it would be.

Life is sweet just because of the friends we have made and the things which in common we share;

We want to live on not because of ourselves but because of the people who care

It's giving and doing for somebody else on that all life's splendor depends

And the joy of this world, when you've summed it all up, is found in the making of friends.

— Melba

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