DEAR ABBY: I saved a poem that I read in your column years ago, and now for the life of me, I can’t find it.

It was about looking at yourself in the mirror and realizing how important character is, rather than the opinion of others.

Can you tell me where to find it? My daughter is popular at school, but she was caught cheating on an exam, and I want to give it to her. – NANCY IN NEW JERSEY

I’m very familiar with the poem you’re looking for. It was a favorite of my mother’s and part of a collection of letters, poems and essays that had special meaning for her. It became part of the Dear Abby Keepers Booklet.

For your convenience, I’m reprinting it today. Read on:


(Author Unknown)

When you get what you want in your struggle for self

And the world makes you king for a day,

Just go to a mirror and look at yourself

And see what THAT man has to say.

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife

Whose judgment upon you must pass,

The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the one staring back from the glass.

Some people might 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 to the end,

And you’ve passed your most dangerous test

If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years

And get pats on the back as you pass,

But your final reward will be heartache and tears

If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

My Keepers Booklet can be ordered by sending a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby – Keepers, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

The booklet is inspiring, positive, and a quick, easy read for anyone who needs a “lift.”

DEAR ABBY: The husband of a close friend of mine is graduating from the state police academy. She’s throwing him a party, and we’re invited. Could you please suggest an appropriate gift for him? I’m stuck. – A READER IN THE EAST

How about a St. Christopher’s medal? He’s sure to be doing a lot of “traveling.”

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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