DEAR ABBY: I saved a poem that I read in your column years ago, and now for the life of me, I can't find it. It was about looking at yourself in the mirror and realizing how important character is, rather than the opinion of others. Can you tell me where to find it? My daughter is popular at school, but she was caught cheating on an exam, and I want to give it to her. -- NANCY IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR NANCY: I'm very familiar with the poem you're looking for. It was a favorite of my mother's and part of a collection of letters, poems and essays that had special meaning for her. It became part of the Dear Abby Keepers Booklet.
For your convenience, I'm reprinting it today. Read on:
THE MAN IN THE GLASS
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself
And see what THAT man has to say.
For it isn't your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
Some people might think you're a straight-shootin' chum
And call you a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.
He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear to the end,
And you've passed your most dangerous test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.
My Keepers Booklet can be ordered by sending a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.
The booklet is inspiring, positive, and a quick, easy read for anyone who needs a "lift."