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Friday, February 21, 2014


I bought a new skillet the other day. I wanted a heavy one because it is so easy to scorch food in a light one. I was shopping for it and I picked up one and it was too light…I knew it wouldn’t do at all. So I chose one that felt heavy for its size and then I picked up another one and it felt even heavier, so I bought it because it was also larger. Wrong choice! But why?

The next day when I had washed it and started to use it, I discovered why it seemed heavier. The handle was made from really heavy material…but the skillet-part itself was really thin and light. That’s a very clever way to disguise an inferior product to someone who is not paying real attention.

Sometimes people are like this skillet and the manufacturer that made it. They may have a heavy handle (good family name) but they may not live up to the values of that good family name, as the ones before them had. When they don’t live up to the name they received when they were born…they are apt to disappoint the ones who love them the most. This poem by Edgar A. Guest says it better:


You got it from your father,
It was the best he had to give,
And right gladly he bestowed it
It is yours, the while you live.
You may lose the watch he gave you
And another you may claim,
But remember, when you’re tempted,
To be careful of his name.
It was fair the day you got it,
And a worthy name to bear,
When he took it from his father
There was no dishonor there.
Through the years he proudly wore it,
To his father he was true,
And that name was clean and spotless
When he passed it on to you.
Oh there’s much that he has given
That he values not at all,
He has watched you break your playthings
In the days when you were small.
You have lost the knife he gave you
And you’ve scattered many a game,
But you’ll never hurt your father
If you’re careful with his name.
It is yours to wear forever,
Yours to wear the while you live,
Yours, perhaps some distant morn,
Another boy to give.
And you’ll smile as did your father,
With a smile that all can share,
If a clean name and a good name
You are giving him to wear.
-Edgar A. Guest