This simple poem reminds us that genuine friendship is about the closeness of hands, hearts, and souls. It also, incidentally, captures the profundity of “touch” between Helen Keller, who was blind, deaf and barely speaking, and her mentor Anne Mansfield Sullivan.
“Tis the human touch in this world that counts,
The touch of your hand and mine,
Which means far more to the fainting heart
Than shelter and bread and wine;
For shelter is gone when the night is o’er,
And bread lasts only a day,
But the touch of the hand and the sound of the voice
Sing on in the soul alway.”
Please put your cellphone down right now, and touch or help someone who needs it. That’s where the true connection in life is!
Spencer Michael Free was a poet who graduated from the College of Physicians and Suregons at John Hopkins University in 1880. Later, he went on to practice medicine and surgery. He taught natural philosophy, chemistry, Latin and algebra at Ohio Wesleyan University. In addition, Free had a passion for the arts and letters which led to his writing hundreds of medical papers as well as poems.He tried several times to enlist in the army and wished to protect our country abroad. However, he never did, so instead he wrote and aimed to give his readers a sense of hope.
The Human Touch was written shortly after World War I and the poem urges a sense of love and humanity. Free also published Shawnee Cabin and Other Poems. While he was not healing people of their physical ailments, he worked for various charitable organizations throughout his life.
“Swearing doesn’t make your argument valid; it just tells the other person you have lost your class and control.”
– Shannon L. Alder
Living and Giving Team, I am asking you to talk today, and not about work. Talk to someone for joy. Talk to them for fun. Talk to them to give support. And, do it live. There is nothing like slowing down, being present, and listening to another’s heart. Remember, it will change your life, too.
“When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.”
A native San Franciscan, Robert Frost is a four-time Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry. His work mainly focused on making sense of complicated social and philosophical themes of rural life. He had six children with his wife, Elinor. Sadly, 4 of those children died at a young age. Consequently, Frost had a very difficult personal life, and he wrote powerful literature. Soon after moving to England with his family, Frost published his first book of poems which did very well. When he returned to the states, he was well received by the literary world. His works were so popular that he was soon published by those who had rejected him before his move to England, including The Atlantic.
Frost was best known for his ability to depict rural life and the countryside. His first book of poems, A Boy’s Will, was published in 1912. Shortly after, he published North of Boston. One of his most famous individual poems is “The Road Not Taken.“
Frost then became a professor at several colleges. At Amherst College, they named their main library after Frost. Throughout his life he received more than 40 honorary degrees. He was asked to write and recite a poem for the John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, a huge honor. His legacy still lives on today as he is one of the most famous poets.
It is so amazing to me that when we communicate, the words really ‘come in third place.’
What’s first and second? First is the tone. If we are abrasive, affrontive, sarcastic then it doesn’t open up the conversation and action for change. Calm, proactive, inclusive, even — “slow” — conversations help provide dynamic change. It sounds as if it is an oxymoron. But allowing the participants to breathe in the interaction helps bring about the best and most inclusive solutions for all parties.
Second then is body language and what we communicate; third come the words.
“Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ballpark. Aim for the company of the immortals.” –David Ogilvy
This is a beautiful clear message, especially in honor of our quirky, beloved Giants, about a clear focus. A focus that aims for the best, drives for excellence, and holds the highest standards in mind. Mr. Ogilvy did that with his advertising firm, and so we can choose to aim out of the ballpark in our chosen endeavor, too.
David Ogilvy (1911-1999) was a noted businessman, working in advertising. He is often called “The Father of Advertising,” and was a key thinker in shaping modern advertising.