Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
You’ve all that the greatest men have had;
Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes,
And a brain to use if you would be wise,
With this equipment they all began–
So start from the top and say, “I can!”
Look them over, the wise and great,
They take their food from a common plate,
And similar knives and forks they use,
With similar laces they tie their shoes;
The world considers them brave and smart,
But you’ve all they had when they made their start.
You can triumph and come to skill,
You can become great if you only will;
You’re well equipped for the fight you choose,
You have arms and legs and a brain to use;
And the man who has risen great deeds to do,
Began his life with no more than you.
You are the handicap you must face,
You are the one who must choose your place.
You must say where you want to go,
How much you will study the truth to know;
God has equipped you for life, But He
Lets you decide what you want to be.
Courage must come from the soul within
The man must furnish the will to win.
So figure it out for yourself, my lad,
You were born with all that the great have had;
With your equipment they all began,
Get hold of yourself and say, “I can!”
Edgar A. Guest
American Poet, 1881-1959