For Our New Year’s Resolutions: The Touch of the Master’s Hand …

The Master's Hand

By the Touch of the Master’s Hand

A few years ago, my good friend Barry presented me with a plaque, which quickly found a cherished place on a wall of my law office — a painting and a poem, signed “Author Unknown.” I later learned the poem was written and published anonymously by Myra Brooks Welch, as a gift for us all. The poem begins:

‘Twas battered and scarred, And the auctioneer thought it hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin, but he held it up with a smile.

“What am I bid, good people,” he cried.“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two? Two dollars, who makes it three?
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”

But, No,

From the room far back a gray bearded man came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin and tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet, as sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?” as he held it aloft with its bow.
“One thousand, one thousand? Do I hear two? Two thousand, who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice, going and gone,” said he.

The audience cheered, but some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand. What changed its’ worth?”

Swift came the reply.

“The Touch of the Master’s Hand.” . . .

Jane Goodall once said, “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Our final chapter of Wonderlust closes:

Philosopher and humanitarian Albert Schweitzer wrote the first two volumes of his Philosophy of Civilization in 1923. Upon his death in 1965, the incomplete drafts of the final two volumes were found. Some historians attribute his failure to complete the work to his intense, life-consuming work at his mission hospital in Africa. But a deeper examination reveals that he decided his life, rather than his writings, would be his argument — the validation for his philosophy.There is no better guide for the stories we create to guide us through our futures: My Life Will Be My Argument. I will be a Difference Maker.

For the 2019 New Year – and for every New Year – let us resolve:

Whatever difference we decide to make, let us craft the difference with the Touch of the Master’s Hand – for it is what we chose to do, and how we chose to do it, that becomes our lasting legacy.

Happy New Year!

Joanie and Dick Jacobs

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Beautiful! Thanks for the inspiration, Dick.

Wishing you and Joanie a healthy and happy New Year!

I love the Jane Goodall quote –

I spent a week with John Paul Caponigro and got to meet his father and spend time with him. I learn much about printing but also about “being” – just being a human with a camera and the power it has. Looking forward to making that difference with my camera!

Thank you for all you do – Happy new year to you both.


Thanks dear Dick, for the lovely thoughts about our resolutions for the new year.
Will keep them in mind as I continue to discern where to put my time and energy and how to make a difference in this world in such great need.
Wishing you and your family many blessings in 2019,

Many tks for this one, Dick. I plan to pass this along to several.

– – – – HUGH

Thanks so much for putting me on your email list for your writings. I am going to take this piece to my writing class next week. It is so powerful! You write well too!


Very well stated–here is to a wonderful 2019.

Thank you, Dick.
We are always glad to have words from you. Jen Hoffman’s almost weekly check list for Americans of conscience, helps me. I write letters of gratitude to the people she highlights.
Word words and illustrative stories always hit home.
Best to you always, Hannah
Enters of gratitude for I still have one to read.

Thanks Dick, I remembered this story. I thought it was from you a long time ago. It surely describes you and and your efforts today.

Thanks, very much, Dick. Happy New Year to you and Joanie.


Thanks for this 🙂

Well said, Dick, a beautiful message for any time of year.