I was brought up as a poor child, from a big family, in a big city,
Where we were taught that the way to prosper was to depend on others' pity.
My many bayou relatives were much like these rural mountain folks;
I didn't share in their hard work, but I entertained them with my jokes.
How many of us could live like Jack, in perfect humility,
Going about doing what he believes in, for all the community to see?
And what about Mountain Mama who resists much outside pressure
To place, in another's care, her daughter, the child she's always treasured?
Neither of these folks is expecting any of society's accolades
For the beds that they've made for themselves, and on which their lives are laid.
They do what they do because this is what they believe is right and just;
Jack is still somewhat embarrassed when others, over him, make a fuss.
Mountain Mama offers employment to those who come to her for help in their need;
She doesn't believe in supporting laziness or in living a life of greed.
Both of them mind their own business rather than seeking out others to assist,
But if they weren't here with their stalwart examples, they would sorely be missed.
Mountain Mama has accumulated much in her many years on this earth;
She still celebrates that her children are caring people, not afraid of work.
Jack shows us by his way of life how very little we need to survive;
In his small cabin with no electricity, he not only survives, he thrives.
I saw him on a cold, rainy day when his wood stove was warming his home;
His kettle on the top is his humidifier, and he made a double boiler in the dome.
How many of us think about the many ways we can put a tool to use?
We load our lives with every advertised gadget; there's no comfort we refuse.
I don't mean to paint a picture that I think either of these friends is perfect,
But I am humbled in their presence by how hard they both are willing to work.
Many people don't understand their choices, and instead of appreciating them,
Look upon their unwillingness to conform as a form of prideful sin.
Isn't this the way of most of us in this world of followers and loud-mouth leaders?
We don't really want to see as good the ways of the quietly confident believers?
We begin to poke fun at them and spread about them vicious lies,
As we watch them then look inside ourselves and find things we despise.