[author and source unknown]

I ran into a stranger passing by.
"Excuse me please" was my reply.

He said, "Won't you please excuse me too;
I wasn't even watching out for you."

We were very polite, this stranger and I
as we went on our way and said good-bye.

But at home a different story is told, of
how we treat our loved ones, young and old.

Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
my daughter stood beside me, very still.

When I turned, I nearly knocked her down.
"Move out of the way," I said with a frown.

She walked away, her little heart broken.
I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken.

That night, while I lay awake in bed,
God's still small voice came to me and said,

"While dealing with any stranger..
common courtesy is what you use,

but the very children whom most you love,
you seem more ready to abuse.

Get up and look on the kitchen floor;
you'll find some flowers there by the door.

Those are the flowers she brought for you.
She picked them herself: pink, yellow and blue.

She stood quietly, not to spoil the surprise,
and you never saw the tears in her eyes."

By this time, I felt indeed very small
and now my own tears began to fall.

I quietly went and knelt by her bed;
"Wake up, my daughter, wake up," I said.

"Are these the flowers you picked for me?"
She smiled, "I found 'em, out by the tree.

I picked 'em because they're pretty, like you.
I knew you'd like 'em, especially the blue."

I said, "I'm sorry for how I acted today;
I should never have yelled at you that way."

She said, "Oh, Mom, that's really okay.
I'll always love you anyway."

I said, "My daughter, I love you too,
and I do like the flowers, especially the blue."

Just think: If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we often give more of ourselves to our work than to our family - an unwise investment indeed.

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