The Man in the Glass

I came across this poem while reading Elvis Lives:  The Business of Being Elvis.  It echoes  a similiar message from Michael Jackson’s hit, Man in the Mirror.  The author is unknown.

WHEN you get what you want in your struggles 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 friends
WHOSE judgment you must pass,
The FELLOW whose verdict counts most in your life
IS the one staring back from the glass.

SOME people may think you’re a straight shootin’ chum
AND call you a wonderful guy.
BUT the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
IF you can’t look him straight in the eye.

HE’S the fellow to please, never mind all the rest
for HE’S with you clear up to the end,
AND you’ved passed your most dangerous, difficult task
IF the man in the glass is your friend.

YOU may fool the whole world down the pathway of Life
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
IF YOU’VE CHEATED THE MAN IN THE GLASS.

It’s poignant because it’s something I’ve done many times myself.  Still do, but this is about Elvis, not me.  So, if you read this with what you know about Elvis, who is reported once to have said, “I am tired of being Elvis,” you wonder if he cheated the man in the glass.

Source:  Thomas-Williams, Pamela.  Elvis Lives:  The Business of Being Elvis.  Books by Pamela, Ltd.  2003.  p. 72.

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