Life Lesson Poems - Page 2

  1. 21. As You Go Through Life

    In this poem, Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) shares valuable advice about life and shows that trying to make things go your way is futile. She encourages that instead of fighting against the reality of life being difficult at times, allow yourself to be shaped into God’s plan. A lot of her poems have a spiritual element to them. This poem is made up of octaves (eight-line stanzas).

    Don't look for the flaws as you go through life;
    And even when you find them,
    It is wise and kind to be somewhat blind
    And look for the virtue behind them.
    For the cloudiest night has a hint of light
    Somewhere in its shadows hiding;
    It is better by far to hunt for a star,
    Than the spots on the sun abiding.

    The current of life runs ever away
    To the bosom of God's great ocean.
    Don't set your force 'gainst the river's course
    And think to alter its motion.
    Don't waste a curse on the universe--
    Remember it lived before you.
    Don't butt at the storm with your puny form,
    But bend and let it go o'er you.

    The world will never adjust itself
    To suit your whims to the letter.
    Some things must go wrong your whole life long,
    And the sooner you know it the better.
    It is folly to fight with the Infinite,
    And go under at last in the wrestle;
    The wiser man shapes into God's plan
    As water shapes into a vessel.

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  2. 22. Temperance

    Sometimes we look back on our reactions to situations with a can't-believe-I-did-that look on our face. Things aren't always as they seem in the moment, so it's often better to be calm.

    Poem About Having Composure

    Get annoyed with someone
    And explode in fury
    But later after calming down
    You'd look back
    On the huffing and the puffing
    And the ranting
    And the chanting,
    Only to wonder,
    What was I thinking?

    Get smitten with someone
    And lose all sense of judgement
    But when their true colour emerges
    You'd look back
    On the pleasing and the teasing
    And the needing
    And the pleading,
    Only to wonder,
    What was I thinking?

    Get let down on an expectation
    And end up frustrated
    But later when things work out
    You'd look back
    On the fretting and the sweating
    And the scurrying
    And the worrying,
    Only to wonder,
    What was I thinking?

    But if in the heat of the moment
    We can pray for the grace
    To maintain a clear head
    And a quiet heart
    To control the thrilling or feeling
    Or the raving
    Or the craving.
    Later, we won't have to wonder,
    "What was I thinking?"

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  3. 23. The Irreplaceable

    Our life span on this earth is always too short, even if you live to be one hundred years old. During our years, there are always lessons to be learned. One of the greatest lessons that I've learned is not to put too great a value on the things which can be easily replaced but to cherish the irreplaceable, such as the people we love and time.

    Not Wasting Time In Life

    If you foolishly spend your money,
    you can always earn some more.

    If you happen to melt your sundae,
    there's plenty more at the store.

    If you happen to wreck your bike,
    you can get one just alike.

    Carelessly drop your candy bar?
    The candy store's not very far.

    But when you're old and look to the past,
    wondering how it went so fast,

    You realize all things you waste,
    that of time you can never replace.

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  4. 24. Greed

    Poem about the danger of being possessed by greed. I am always amazed at the attachment people have to their possessions, myself included. Go to any garage sale on a Saturday and you will see for yourself. If we are not careful, we can let our desire for possessions become an obsession and be completely consumed by greed. A wise man once said that any possession that you are not able to release possesses you.

    Poem About Greed And Money

    When we were born with no possession.
    The love received was our concession.
    No worries, no fears, no troubles, no fuss.
    In mother's arms we put our trust.

    But as we grew, we looked and craved,
    and all too soon became enslaved.
    The more we saw, the more we wanted.
    Our quest for more became undaunted.

    Our thirst for more could not be quenched.
    The more we grasped, the tighter we clenched.
    We scampered and gathered and gathered to hoard.
    Possessions became our master and lord.

    And when we're old with our treasures all heaped,
    a sad example of what greed has reaped.
    Our fists still clenched in a grasping motion,
    till at our death, when our hands are opened.

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    Wow, this poem reminds me of one of my uncles who was all about his accomplishments. He chased after money till he couldn't. Lying on his hospital bed breathing his last, he realized life...

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  5. 25. The Perfect Little Town

    There is an old song, "From a Distance," which always struck a chord with me. It illustrated that from a distance everything looks nice. You're often not able to see things as they really are.

    Appearances Can Be Deceiving

    The little town was the perfect little town,
    Where never would you see even one little frown.
    No matter where you'd go around town to stroll,
    There were perfect little houses, all in a perfect row.

    It was the perfect town, till you crossed the tracks,
    Where there were rows and rows of dirty little shacks.
    The people who lived there lived just outside,
    Just outside of the perfect little town.

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  6. 26. A Poison Tree

    This poem by William Blake (1757-1827 London) depicts the value of not holding bad feelings inside. In the poem, he suggests that sharing your bad feelings with the one you are angry about will cause the ill will to disappear. On the other hand, holding a grudge inside will only make it grow more powerful. The poem ends with a murder in a garden.

    I was angry with my friend:
    I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
    I was angry with my foe:
    I told it not, my wrath did grow.

    And I waterd it in fears
    Night & morning with my tears;
    And I sunned it with smiles,
    And with soft deceitful wiles.

    And it grew both day and night,
    Till it bore an apple bright.
    And my foe beheld it shine,
    And he knew that it was mine,

    And into my garden stole,
    When the night had veiled the pole;
    In the morning glad I see
    My foe outstretchd beneath the tree.

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  7. 27. Life Will Bloom When It Is Ready

    I keep pulling
    on my roots
    urging them to grow
    impatient for the bloom
    and the sunshine
    and the growth
    but it doesn’t work like that
    tears flow, soil drenches and dries
    there have to be some slower days
    some rainfall, even snow
    —life will bloom when it is ready

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  8. 28. Wisdom's Woods

    Ah...so many personal scenarios to pull from to introduce this...

    Learn From Everything That Happens

    For every time I've failed,
    For every time I've screwed up,
    For every time I've said, "I'm Sorry,"
    And for every time I've not.

    For every heart I've broken,
    For every stone unturned,
    For every one I've damaged
    Due to an action or spoken word.

    No, I'm not a loser.
    I know I am no failure.
    Some things take longer to learn.
    In the end, I'll have things mastered.

    Regret? I've had aplenty.
    Self-loathing? I've lived that, too.
    Walked away too many times,
    Stepping closer to something new.

    I know where I'm going.
    I'm taking longer than I should,
    But these setbacks are not failures,
    Only detours through Wisdom's Woods.

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    I love this poem! It speaks about how to get through the difficulties of facing failure. I really like it!

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  9. 29. Be Proud Of Who You Are

    • By S Raine
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems November 2010

    I try to instill in my daughters that we all are unique, so find yourself and be proud of who you are.

    I Am Unique

    I come with no wrapping or pretty pink bows.
    I am who I am, from my head to my toes.
    I tend to get loud when speaking my mind.
    Even a little crazy some of the time.
    I'm not a size 5 and don't care to be.
    You can be you and I can be me.
    I try to stay strong when pain knocks me down.
    And the times that I cry are when no one's around.
    To error is human or so that's what they say.
    Well, tell me who's perfect anyway.

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    I love this poem! People are always trying to fit in and be normal. I've always disregarded being "normal." What's the point? Why would I be someone I am not? I am perfectly happy the way I...

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  10. 30. Never Say That Word

    Tired of all the hate in the world. I hope the next generation will remove this word from their vocabulary.

    Don't Use The Word Hate

    It is a small word
    with a big bite,
    the worst ever heard;
    it is just not polite.

    If you could hold it,
    it would feel like a ton.
    Beware not to use it;
    it hurts, even in fun.

    It never feels nice.
    It should never be heard.
    Please take my advice
    and use another word.

    You know how it feels
    when someone says it to you.
    It takes forever to heal,
    even though it's not true.

    You must not forget.
    Never make that mistake.
    You will live with regret
    if you use the word HATE.

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  11. 31. As Time Passes

    • By Jenni-fiere M. Bivens
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems February 2006

    Fill in the blank; the life you see could be your own.

    Poem On Time Going By So Fast

    As the seconds pass,
    We look back
    At what our lives have held.

    As the minutes pass,
    We see what fell through the cracks.
    Parts of our lives we withheld.

    As the hours pass,
    We think of what we learned,
    What we have taught,
    What we have forgot.

    As the days pass,
    We wish a lot could be returned.
    We wish we would have never fought
    You hope they forget me not.

    As years pass,
    You stand alone.
    They have all grown,
    Married and gone
    Or on their own.

    As your life passes,
    You stand proud,
    Looking how well they raise their own.
    You did well.
    Live on...

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    The poem really hit home with me. I decided to use this for a compare and contrast essay for my literature class.

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  12. 32. Possibilities

    Nobody sees the future so hardly are we absolutely sure how things will turn out. But then if we wait till we are before we act, we'd accomplish very little.

    Motivation About Making Attempts

    We never know if we're right
    If we're not willing to be wrong.
    We never know how far we'd go
    If we never fight hard and long.

    No one can learn to walk
    When they are not inclined to crawl.
    If we want something to stand,
    We have to risk letting it fall.

    Many are prospects for success
    That quietly pass us by
    Merely because we're no longer willing
    To step out and give it a try.

    There are opportunities to fly
    We miss sheltered in our cocoon.
    Many are chances for a win,
    We miss because we quit too soon.

    Life stows hard realities.
    Mistakes at times, we're bound to make.
    But it's also full of possibilities;
    It's up to us how much we take.

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    A wonderful poem and so true...
    If we live in wait and hesitate, who knows what a future we would make. Life can change in an instant. Nothing is for sure. We should if we could take any...

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  13. 33. Don't Neglect Your Love

    Sometimes we take love for granted, whether that be your partner or your family. This poem is to remind us to take care of the ones we love.

    Cherish The Love You Have

    Love is like a bicycle
    Left out in the storm
    If it's not protected
    Rust begins to form

    So unless you want your bicycle
    To slowly rust away,
    Provide a little kindness
    When the sky begins to grey.

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  14. 34. Advice To A Son

    Ernest Hemingway was an American author and poet who lived from 1899-1961. He loved adventure and used his various experiences to inspire his writing. This poem was his chance to impart wisdom on his sons. He was married four times and had three sons.

    Never trust a white man,
    Never kill a Jew,
    Never sign a contract,
    Never rent a pew.
    Don't enlist in armies;
    Nor marry many wives;
    Never write for magazines;
    Never scratch your hives.
    Always put paper on the seat,
    Don't believe in wars,
    Keep yourself both clean and neat,
    Never marry whores.
    Never pay a blackmailer,
    Never go to law,
    Never trust a publisher,
    Or you'll sleep on straw.
    All your friends will leave you
    All your friends will die
    So lead a clean and wholesome life
    And join them in the sky.

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  15. 35. Life Lines

    The best use of a list poem may be to pass along a lifetime of lessons, learned from experience and through the examples of others who have inspired me. Enjoy these and perhaps use them to make your own.

    A Lifetime Of Learning

    Walk where you have never been
    and wonder at the beauty of this world.

    Wish for the best, but work,
    and for its own reward.

    Give more than you receive
    and share of it.

    Be moderate in all things,
    except goodness.

    Wait your turn
    and, on occasion, give it away.

    Learn, if just to know,
    grow wise.

    Dream often,
    and find a way to live your fondest.

    Do all you can
    never to hurt another.

    Help someone daily;
    it will heal your hurt as well.

    Find something you enjoy;
    it takes but one to make you happy.

    Read,
    for a book can change your life.

    Write your own story,
    you may change another's world.

    Restore something old
    and treasure it.

    Reward freely,
    repay always.

    The greatest dignity is in the respect
    given to one who is humble.

    Obey and serve,
    when it is due.

    Always do what is right,
    but do so ever with kindness.

    Be confident in yourself
    and humble before all others.

    Befriend those who need,
    for they can be the truest.

    Love wholly and long
    one who is worthy.

    Give and receive love fully,
    for that is the breath of life.

    Be kind to all who will accept it,
    and be fair to all others.

    Beware that some are not good
    and avoid, but never fear them.

    Believe in something better,
    and live to make it true.

    Dig in good earth;
    sow new life.

    Reap with pride;
    cook for pleasure.

    Live fully within each moment you have,
    for time will not return the chance.

    Laugh out loud,
    listen always.

    Know the taste of longing
    and the joy of play.

    Listen to the music
    you can find in silence.

    Sing for the joy of it,
    dance for its freedom.

    Pray, even when it hard to believe,
    for man was not meant to be alone.

    Save for tomorrow,
    each day.

    Share from your heart
    and with your hands.

    Forgive as you can,
    for we are all only human.

    Accept what you cannot change,
    remember warmly and wisely.

    Stand for something that matters,
    treasure memories most of all.

    Trust when you can,
    but doubt when you ought.

    Know that despite it all,
    life is good.

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  16. 36. These Stories We Wear

    these stories we wear –

    scars,
    stretchmarks,
    wrinkles,

    are wrongly labelled
    as imperfections.

    but aren’t they such beautiful,
    courageous signs
    of how we have lived?

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  17. 37. You Don't Have To Be A Doormat

    I wrote this about myself when I realized that since I've grown older, I'm less uncomfortable defending myself.

    Respecting Yourself

    When I was young and insecure,
    And desperate to be liked.
    I tended to withdraw in pain
    And flee instead of fight.

    All I wanted was to get along.
    Conflict was not my style.
    So despite what people did to me,
    I took it with a smile.

    So whenever someone hurt me,
    I'd stuff those feelings deep inside.
    Forgive but not forget it,
    Just take it all in stride.

    But anger tends to fester.
    It's not so easy to control.
    Just like a dormant bomb that's lit,
    One day it will explode.

    I've suffered many sad regrets.
    I've felt my share of shame
    For releasing all my pent-up ire
    On the ones who weren't to blame.

    So I would not advise this practice
    Now that I've grown old and wise.
    I've learned a great deal in my time,
    And there's some truths I realized.

    In life you must be tolerant,
    But you also must be strong.
    You don't have to be a doormat
    When someone does you wrong.

    You must carefully pick your battles,
    Knowing when to let things go.
    Don't seek revenge or try to hurt,
    For what you reap you'll sow.

    Don't back down but don't attack,
    Hold your tongue but speak your mind.
    You can defend yourself and others,
    And still manage to be kind.

    It's important that you love yourself.
    This is the love that must come first.
    If you can't see how grand you are,
    Then no one else will see your worth.

    A good rule of thumb to follow,
    Show the world by what you do -
    That you will gladly give respect
    But will expect the same for you!

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  18. 38. We Are All Human

    This poem talks about how similar we are. In the end, we are all only human and doing the best we can.

    Trying To Understand Each Other

    I've lived quite a while and learned quite a bit
    About life and this world where we live.
    I've found that it's filled with both good and the bad.
    Some who take, while some others will give.

    There's a balance to life in the way it unfolds.
    That's a truth that we all come to know.
    They'll be times we endure some unbearable days
    And sleepless nights filled with anger and woe.

    Then come those moments of utter contentment,
    When it all seems to fall into place,
    When all that you are seems so right with the world,
    You feel all of your pain's been erased.

    We spend so much time on a quest for ourselves,
    Searching for that internal peace.
    And on each of our paths we may misstep and fall,
    But our need for the answers won't cease.

    We're composed and we're driven by our hearts and souls.
    Our beliefs grow from what we've been taught.
    Our dreams are all nurtured by the things that we see,
    And our morals from the fights we have fought.

    We all look so different; we all have our ways,
    And at times we just can't understand
    That inside we're no different, our humanities the same,
    And we all do the best that we can.

    Feelings of sadness, grief, joy, and pain,
    Feeling lonely and empty and scared.
    We each have these feelings, no matter our lives,
    And we all yearn for someone to care.

    It's that not understanding each other
    Fosters the feelings of hate,
    So we must take the time to learn all that we can,
    While forgiving each other's mistakes.

    Yes, I've learned quite a lot in my 63 years,
    And to look well beyond what I see
    To embrace and respect everyone as they are,
    And hope that they'll do that for me.

    The world won't stop spinning, and the sun will still rise.
    There will always be conflict and strife,
    But accepting we're all only human
    Will make this a much better life.

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  19. 39. Time Keeps Marching On

    The poem is about how time passes and what's really important is how we've used that time.

    Reflecting On The Passage Of Time

    Time passes all so quickly,
    Moments melting into years.
    It's true, time waits for no one,
    And the end is always near.

    We live a life so tenuous,
    So easily it's gone.
    And no matter what we each endure,
    Time keeps marching on.

    We take refuge in the moment,
    And we cling to every day.
    We pretend it's all forever,
    Just to keep the end at bay.

    We hearken back to childhood,
    When the world was filled with treasures,
    And our lives and what the future held
    Was beyond what we could measure.

    When our family was our everything,
    There was still no place like home.
    And with our best friends by our sides,
    We came into our own.

    And though we took our private paths,
    We all have kept in mind
    That in life our greatest struggle,
    Is our battle against time.

    Will we get to know what true love is?
    Will we have the things we need?
    Will we conquer all our greatest fears?
    Will we fail or will we succeed?

    And then as we grow older,
    And the future shrinks away,
    Our lives become more memories
    And less about today.

    We share our wisdom and our hope
    With the children in our lives,
    And say good-bye to those we loved,
    Who once stood by our side.

    But there's a peace in growing old,
    As time becomes more dear.
    And who we are and why we're here
    Becomes so crystal clear.

    And we see time is not the enemy,
    But how that time was lived.
    And if we took all that we could,
    Or gave all that we could give.

    For in our final hours,
    As our time begins to wane.
    The goodness that our soul's bestowed,
    Is all that shall remain.

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    Another lovely poem, Patricia - keep them coming. Very best wishes, Ann

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  20. 40. Teach Them Well

    You are not defined
    by the way other people
    see you
    treat you
    love you

    You are defined
    by the way you
    see yourself
    treat yourself
    love yourself

    Others will do unto you
    as you teach them how to;
    teach them well

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