Years ago I picked up a poem named “The Choice.” I do not know where I got it nor the author, but it illustrates the importance of building others up. This poem raises the question of whether we will “tear down or build up.”
“I watched some men tearing a building down,
a group of men in my home town.
With a heave and a ho and a mighty yell,
They swung the ball and a side wall fell.
And I said to the foreman, “Are these men skilled,
the type you’d hire if you want to build?”
And he smiled, then laughed and said, “No indeed,
common laborer is all I need.
For we can tear down in a day or two,
what it took a builder years to do.”
As I turned, I shook my head,
I knew there was truth in what he said.
And I thought to myself as I walked away,
which of these roles am I going to play?
Am I a builder as I work with care,
measuring life by the rule and square?
Am I shaping my deeds to a well-laid plan,
carefully doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker as I walk the town,
content with the labor of tearing down?