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There Is No Irreplaceable Man

Sometime when you’re feeling important,
Sometime when your ego’s in bloom,
Sometime when you take it for granted,
You’re the best qualified man in the room.
Sometime when you think that your passing
Will leave an un-fillable hole,
Just remember this simple example,
And see how it humbles your soul.

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in up to your wrists,
The hole that you make when you leave it,
Is the measure of how much you’ll be missed.
You may thrash all you want when you enter,
You may stir up the waters galore,
But just wait for a moment
And it is still the same as before.

The moral of this is quite simple,
Just do the best that you can.
But please always remember
There is no irreplaceable man.

I have a like/dislike relationship with this poem.

I first read it when I was in high school and liked it.

At the time it seemed like a great reminder that no person is irreplaceable. I never thought of myself so great that I was the ‘best qualified,’ or that I was all that ‘important’. But, I liked the sentiment that life is fleeting and there will be others after you.

I dislike it for some of the same reasons. You can fill a position, hire someone new for a job, but you can’t replace people. There are no two people exactly the same so it’s not possible.

Just because people may forget your name or because your current job may not be your lifelong career, that doesn’t mean you don’t work hard, do your best work, and do work that makes you proud



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