Real Value and The Living Book


If size doesnít matter

then why do so many men

leave locker rooms,

disappointed, in wonderment

as to why they werenít more

properly endowed?

If a man is happy and content

with exactly where he is,

then why does he still envy

and judge himself a failure against

all who are where he thinks

he might have been?


A thousand means for measure

existing in this world,

nothing misses the effort to sort,

define and be put into its place.

For sure, it works to discern

a thousand shades of color.

We know for sure the number

for any purple, red, or gray.


But havenít we taken measurement

too far, when we class a man

a failure for never going far

in the club of the corporate few,

or simply not achieving all

from his fatherís antiquated

world point of view?.

Is not society, how ever elaborate,

still an artificial state structured

from someone elseís dreams?

Alas, so much judgement on basis

of rank, IQ, sex, or color of the skin

rather then the sum or quality

of whatís been done.

How can anyone ever judge

the scheme of anotherís life

from amidst all of this illusion?


I say it be impossible to measure

the value of a life from illusion.

It was God who set upon a life

its path, so it be only God

who can rightly judge

the completing of the task.

Every life has great value

even those who seem lost.


We do not know

how many times a simply act

not remembered changed the world.

A smile of a little girl might easily

have healed the pain and turned a heart

away from the bitterness

which was about to make it kill.

That same child might grow up

and do nothing else

that society would feel merits value.

Yet, that child gave the greatest gift

of all to another, the gift of life,

Her life had purpose

yet she . . .the world never knew.


In self appraisal, one must discount

all that the world would say.

We must look within the heart

of what we are and ask,

ĎWhat did I do in years

gone by to influence,

change or touch anotherís heart?Ē

Think back to all the special moments

you thought youíd never forget.

Moments likes these . . .

when a few words of caring

brought a smile to a lonely child

or to one about to give up hope.

It may have been the time

you saved a life

and didnít even know.


Our ideas of failure and success

are molded not just by us.

It is society, itís norms and value

systems which play as much

against our sense of worthiness

and value or in its lack thereof.

I say to you, youíve saved my life

so many times, it defies a count.

So, dear friend, why is this

not viewed or counted for success?


The most cherished of all books

ever known to man is nothing

without the reader

who sees within the text

a greater truth of self

that transforms and enlightens.

Only then does such a miraculous truth

becomes that personís own.


The greatest book, however,

is not born with pen in hand.

Without pen or paper,

each day we write a chapter

in that book which is our life

We ARE the sum of all

thatís written there.

Each time we meet another soul,

that soul can view the essence

of all written in the book.

Written and achieved

usually without fame,

the living book,

if viewed with open heart

is the greatest of all powers

to transform and heal

that reside upon the earth.


Write your book well . . .

and all who walk upon this earth

will change and be better

for the fact that youíve been here.


By Shirl A. Steward


Dedicated to the most beautiful of all living books

I have been gifted the pleasure of reading.April 29, 2002





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