A MILLION FRIENDS 599
Many years ago, in a large city,
there lived two brothers. As they grew,
they were similar in many of their habits,
but their personalities became a study
Both young men gained in prominence, wealth,
After living a long life, the first of the brothers died.
At his funeral, thousands attended and mourned
the loss of a great soul.
A few months later, the second brother died, and at
his funeral there were only three...the grave digger,
his dog, and me.
I asked that old sand shoveler why so many mourned
the loss of the first brother, while the second brother
was long forgotten before his death.
Said the digger, "I suspect it was a matter of insight and
"The second brother felt that he had many enemies,
and as time wore on, he became more cynical,
and more bitter and more cautious and crafty...
and left no friends behind."
"The first brother would have probably wound up
the same way, except that one evening, as a
young man, a life changing thought entered his mind."
"This was the thought...'I have a million friends...
and you are one of them."
"And from that evening on for the rest of his life,
this brother greeted friend and foe alike."
"And through the years, the number of his friends
grew and grew...while his foes seemed to drift away
as the early morning dews."
(First published on March 20, 1979. Revisions made
on August 25, 2019)