When asked to reflect on my personal responsibility and accountability the first thing that came to mind was the following poem written by Peter Dale Wimbrow, Sr and first published in 1934.
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
Whose judgement upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
He’s the fellow to please–never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
As I stare into the mirror to begin each day I often reflect on what needs to be accomplished. This may include tasks at work, family matters, chores around the house and ways to support my own physical and emotional well-being, like exercise. At day’s end I once again meet my own reflection. As I look back on the day’s events, it is time to be honest with myself. It’s not necessarily what I’ve accomplished that needs to be answered but whether I have fully pushed myself to use my talents, love, financial resources or knowledge to the best of my ability and with the greatest impact.
A New Jersey native and Wake Forest graduate, Phil Warshauer has been a Temple Beth El member since moving to Charlotte in 2006. He and his wife, Beth, have three children Ashley, Lee and Anna. Phil serves as the Executive Director of the Foundation for the Charlotte Jewish Community (FCJC) serving as a philanthropic advisor and assisting donors to create lasting charitable legacies.