Do All You Can

A poem to inspire us to do all we can for those we love. Life is so short we never want to miss an opportunity to do for those around us.

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Do All You Can
Poet: Arthur Franklin Fuller

Do all you can for those you ought to love -
'Tis thoughtfulness and service that best prove -
Awaken! realize each circled dial -
The worth of what 'tis yours to own a while;
Bring now your flowers, the praise so fitly said -
'Twill bless the living - cannot cheer the dead;
Let men deride your sentimental spell -
Stay calm and know that you are doing well.

Do all you can for her whom you should love -
Each fleeting opportunity improve -
Be gentle, kind and tender while you may
Regrets cannot bring back this passing day;
And if she craves for admiration's balm,
Deny her not, but lie without a qualm
If need be - such sin will God condone -
Her happiness will for that blot atone.

Do all you can for those you ought to love -
O rather be dumb than in haste to reprove -
About those blunders which you now deplore.
You'll some day cry, "Come back and make some more!"
No harshness, just or unjust is forgiven
By self when death these ties for aye has riven
O cherish those who love you - crave your love -
And God will smile a blessing from above.

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You may also enjoy this excerpt from an essay Arthur Franklin Fuller wrote in the late 1800s on the practice of Benevolence as a great aid toward the Joyous Life.

by Arthur Franklin Fuller


1. To be charitable to the fellow who thoughtlessly, inconsiderately or ignorantly, butts in when we are busy.

2. Since there is a lot of work to be done in the world and somebody must do it, and as we find life seems to lack interest at times, we will jump in and start something and not wait for the Other Fellow to do it.

There's many a one
Whose work's not done
With the setting sun
These strenuous days
Of bed-rock ways
And failing stays!

So if ours is done and we still feel fit, we will pitch in — show our benevolence, and lend a hand.

3. That when some guy is trying to be good and do good, we will help him out.

4. That when a guy wants to indulge in that famous indoor-sport of working up a healthy giggle, we won't spoil the scene by calling him a rummy bloke or a nut or a plain fool, because it upsets a guy when he is called by certain kinds of pet-names. Even in such a case, we will use our Benevolence — we will help him out too and double the said giggle.

5. That when a soul needs a little love— no matter how homely or unprepossessing or unattractive he or she may be; no matter how old or broken — we will be a good fellow and GIVE a little love, passing up that delightful thrill of pleasure and satisfaction we crave and experience when we bestow a caress upon one who draws our ardent impulses.

6. That when a guy is trying to be funny on the stage or in a book, we will also help him out by trying to respond to his effort to tickle our funny-bone; willing to crack a wrinkle and treat our royal "tummy" to a thorough jiggle by means of a hearty giggle. We understand that the adepts claim that if you keep trying you can get the habit and will find it good fun after it becomes automatic. Claim it's good for the liver too. (S'pose that means if you are a good liver, you'll have a good liver).

7. That when we meet up with someone who wants to be wise and we see how we can show him something about the game, in some little particular, we will loosen up and help him out too.

8. That when we happen upon a rare bird — find a person who is actually content with his lot in life, feels satisfied with the deal the Powers-That-Be have handed him, finds no fault with making the best of his situation in life; a person who seems anchored in the little harbor of Peace-of-Mind  (which means he is content with his humble home, meagre opportunities for himself and his family, his wages, and the simple life open to him); a man who appears to be satisfied with his simple faith and the old-fashioned concepts of God and Right and the open-faced ideas that have proven by many to be good enough to live by and keep them out of jail, and to die by too, and who evidently feels satisfied with the justice of the universe:

We won't disturb him, nor upset his little joy-world with any new-fangled notions about philosophy or up-to-date or Ancient Religions; we won't try to give him something he did not ask for and is not ready to exchange for the ideas which have been dear to him for a long time; we won't spoil his peace of mind by handing him a lot of mixed- thoughts that keep people from enjoying life; we won't hand him a bunch of literature and clusters of sermons, and smother him with a lot of dogmatic platitudes, thinking it is up to us to evangelize the world in general and this poor guy who cannot get away from us, in particular. Even here, we will persist in functioning through our celebrated bump of Benevolence. We will stay in our own backyard and roost under our own little vine and fig-tree and let this be- nighted neighbor have a similar privilege.

9. That, should we find ourselves "getting blue"— feeling that nobody loves us and the high cost of living and various other adverse circumstances make life not worth while; that, since our "sweetie" done turned us down, or some other dear cronie has gotten tired of us, and we feel all tore up and 'bused, so that we reckon we don't want to live any more — wish we were dead; then, at that cricfyet-al (critical) moment we will strike an attitude or a match or something that won't hit back, and pull ourselves together and recall Elbert's glorious words. (You remember Elbert — the real guy who organized that what-you-may-call-it- place — why, the Boy-Grafters, or Ray-Shafters or Toy- Crofters or something that-away, down there in York State near where the Herkimer County cheese comes from — you remember! Well anyway, his name — something about squash — Oh, yes — Elbert Hubbard. That's him.) He said: "Don't take yourself too damned seriously." Great orator, was Elbert. So we have resolved to be good to ourselves even here, and exercise our Benevolence. We are perfectly willing to do this because we realize that Benevolence needs exercise, especially as he's getting a bit old, and will get so fat and lazy, just like Mrs. Casey's dog down at the boarding-house, and there are so many places that Benevolence is needed. Hence, we will reflect that this is indeed the finest little old world we ever did get into — at least, the best we remember anything at all about. Hence, we will cheer up and make the best of it.

10. And it is further resolved, that should we meet a guy who wants to get the money, we will be a sport, and come across, (at least to a reasonable extent, but reserving a few things — for instance, those swell silk sox that our best girl gave us for a Christmas or birthday present); loosen up as requested, in order to do our part to encourage him in his worthy ambition.

We will do this partly because we realize that he will only spend the money again anyway, and it's all right just so long as money is kept in circulation. Stagnation, hoarding — that's what sets the world back! And then too, see all the fun we'll have! We will have the knowledge of having done a noble act, and will have the interest, the purpose, the necessity of earning some more. That will at least keep us out of mischief, and maybe prevent our landing in jail. So even here, Benevolence is salutary and it will pay us to help out. Also, by helping the Other Fellow to get what he wants, we perceive that we will start the ball a-rolling and the first thing we know, we will be getting what we want. And, checking over our personal-want column, we find there are quite a bunch of things we hanker for a great deal more than for money; and most of them are things which money cannot buy — as, for instance, the Joyous Life.

"Count that day lost whose low descending sun
Views from thy hand no worthy action done."

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