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Lessons from a Poet Long Gone

by Brian W. Buethe, President | CEO, 

January Newsletter Article

Robert Frost is widely considered one of the greatest poets in American history.  There are other contenders, of course.  He is best known for his famous poem entitled “The Road Not Taken”.  The poem, which was first published in 1916, ponders the choices that we all must make in life.  Later in life, Frost would go on to win four Pulitzer Prizes and recited another of his poems at John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Inauguration in 1961.

However, it is not this famous poem that drew my attention on the eve of the new year.  Rather, it was another of Frost’s quotes, which I read in a reader response to an article he had read in in The Daily Umbrella, a daily email distribution from Big Green Umbrella Media.  They are the same group that publishes CITYVIEW magazine and a plethora of Living Magazines, including the one distributed in the Dallas Center-Grimes area. 

A reader by the name of Rex was responding to a previous article that had run on December 20th titled Overworked and Underpaid.  He responded to that article with a less well-known quote from Robert Frost “The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.”  If you’ve attended events organized by Grimes Chamber & Economic Development or if you’ve read previous articles produced by our organization, you have undoubtedly heard us encourage productive involvement in the community of Grimes.  Typically, the message is something along the lines of…we are already a fantastic community, but imagine what we could accomplish if more people, more businesses, more organizations were involved in working for a greater good.

There are wonderful people doing important and good work in Grimes every day.  That good work presents itself in the form of hard work, at businesses, within homes, in local institutions, etc.   They are the people who are capable and willing to work to better themselves and those around them, which has positive implications for our community and sometimes our world.

As we engage this new year, may you be encouraged to either continue or begin being someone who is willing to work for a greater good in your life and the lives of those around you.  The more people we can fit into the first half of Frost’s quote, the better we will all be in the long run.  This type of effort should be celebrated and with any luck, will not be the “road less traveled” for those who are fortunate enough to call Grimes home.

On behalf of the many members and staff of Grimes Chamber & Economic Development, I would like to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!  Learn more about our organization by visiting

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