2.4 Have You Earned Your Tomorrow



(a) Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

(b) Tomorrow’s battle is won during today’s practice. (Japanese Proverb)

(c) Today must not borrow from tomorrow. [German Proverb]

(d) Yesterday, today and tomorrow – – these are the three days of man… [Chinese Proverb]

Ans: (1) Career

(2) Higher studies

(3) Retirement-plans/ financial security

(4) Family life

(5) Goal in life to be accomplished


Margin Question:


Whenever we meet our elders we greet them with great respect and love. Through the length and breadth of our country touching the feet of elders is the tradition. We also fold our palms in the very Indian greeting of ‘Namaste’. This comes from the word ‘Namaskaar’. In south India touching people is not a normal custom. Younger people prostrate full length before elders such as parents, uncles-aunts, gurus and even older siblings. In north India the younger bend before the elders and ladies cover their head

With the shawl or sari edge. Age is a very significant factor. The greeting is always a gesture of respect and the elders respond affectionately by showering blessings.


(a) Visited retirement home/time spent with elderly residents

(b) Spent time conversing about their children! Grandchildren/ looking at photos,

(c) Taught some of them how to use the internet to communicate! Learned some

traditional recipes

(d) Promised to visit often regularly


The poet asks the reader again and again if he/ she spent each day well or wasted it

-‘sorely spent’. We all are busy with our own lives, acting for our own benefit. The poet inspires us to be mindful and must be of use to the world around us. The poet prompts us to speak kindly and unselfishly help, at least one fellow human every day. The message is implied throughout the poem. He asks if you have made one person happy, some stranger who had lost all hope, to find some hope again. So he will speak well of you. Is someone grateful to you at the end of (each) the day?


The poet indirectly means that each day we exist we must make our living useful.

We are not sure if we shall wake in the morning. We pray we do. But for God to grant us one more day -tomorrow – we have to justify our existence today. Did we put today to use?

Did we help at least one fellow-human? Did we extend the help without expecting any returns? Did at least one person feel grateful for your act of help? If nothing, we can make the effort to speak a kind word to a stranger we may pass by in our daily hurry. So one has live mindfully, unselfishly and look for ways to be of help to someone in need. That is the minimum expected by God. Or to have lived as a human would be futile.









The poet, Edgar Guest’s “Have you earned your Tomorrow”, is a thought provoking composition. The title itself pushes our mind to wonder if today we have ~ done something useful. It urges the reader to be thoughtful in everyday life about the people around them. The poet puts forward questions. Each question forces us to ask ourselves if we are kind, unselfish, patient and thoughtful. In our everyday rush, to live our life only for our own benefit, we forget to consider the people nearby who may be less fortunate. There is interrogation in eleven lines of the sixteen-line poem. The language is simple. There is alliteration and rhyme. The poem has four stanzas of four lines each. The first stanza has four lines, each having fourteen syllables. The second, third and fourth stanzas also with four lines, have fifteen syllables each. The clear message of the poem is one’s life is meaningful only if it is useful for humanity at ‘ large. The poet says one’s conscience has to know that you r existence is justified. Or one cannot feel he has the right to ask for one more day of life. It is an uplifting poem. We can take the message and begin implementing it in our life immediately and every day.



(1) Good evening Rima ma’am. I would like to know a bit about your life. Could we begin

with a walk down memory lane to your childhood?

(2) What was your hobby /past-time in your childhood?

(3) Which is the best memory during your school/high school/ college years? Which phase

did you enjoy the most?

(4) You have moved to different cities due to your father’s job. Which is the city /town

which you loved living in the most?

(5) How did you get into social service? Who was your role model or inspiration?

(6) What were the challenges and difficulties that caused any setback in your life?

(7) What plans do you have for the future? Would you mind sharing a little of those with

your fans?

(8) There are many achievements you have seen. Which is the most important according to


(9) What is the message you want to give to those in this noble field? What would be your

tip especially for youngsters?

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