An inspirational poem Document

The following poem has been printed in Heald College, Salinas, CA, CAMPUS Community News, Spring 2002 (this is the only identification of this publication I was able to find). It is attributed there to 1927 Heald College graduate, R.J. Compton. This poem (quote) "celebrates his decision to attend Heald College and lamenting the decision of an acquaintance who chose not to". It seems to me a perfect comment on today's attitude to information-based society. The orthography (commas, etc.) follows the CAMPUS Community News.

The Job He Might Have Had

He swung a shovel and wielded a pick
In the muck and the slag and the slime,
And at times he toiled where the smoke was thick,
In the reek of the factory's grime.

And yet, at a desk, just a block away,
Sat a man he had known as a lad,
With a tenth of the toil and ten times the pay,
At the job he might have had.

Beginning as equals, both could have won,
But he chose a job for its pay,
And he'll work and worry till life is done,
For choosing the "quicker (?) way."

The real quicker way was to study and train,
And the thought of it oft makes him sad
As he looks at the man who is selling brain
On the job that he might have had.

Last modified: July 11, 2002