I’m sharing the following poetry excerpt today which I borrowed from my friend Ikisha’s Facebook.  She says an elementary teacher had her class memorize it years ago.  Entitled “Equipment,” and composed by Edgar A. Guest, it was George Washington Carver’s favorite poem and if you ever visit his museum you can hear him reading it aloud.  I like this one because it is simple and short enough to memorize, yet profound and inspirational too!

Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
You’ve all that the greatest of 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.


I’ve known Ikisha, by the way, since she was seven years old and I was a freshman at Georgetown involved in a tutoring program where we would travel to our kids’ homes each week to help with homework or more often just play with them.  I tutored Ikisha and her sister, Shamica, for four years, and have stayed in touch with them–mostly through Ikisha’s efforts–ever since.  Ikisha has two [edit: three now!] handsome–and bright–young sons and is an incredibly impressive woman who inspires me every day with her wisdom and positivity (is that even a word?).

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