Wanda B. Goines became famous on the internet at the age of 92. Kathryn Clausnitzer Wilson filmed her reciting her own original poem, “The Gift Wrap & The Jewel.”
A tiny little lady dressed in a long black skirt, an embroidered top, and pearl necklaces sits in an oversized beige armchair. In the chair, she is wearing an oversized dress. In her words about aging, she reminds us that what counts is what’s on the inside.
Since 2015, the video has been shared more than 5 million times. Views keep growing.
Despite her age, Ms. Goines has a wealth of life experience that contributes to her wisdom. She is a great grandmother of eight children, including internationally-known artist David Lance Goines. She is also an artist and calligrapher.
She lived in Cave Junction, Oregon when this was filmed. Her family enjoyed watching her go viral with this recitation.
“I looked in the mirror and what did I see,
but a little old lady peering back at me
With bags and sags and wrinkles and wispy white hair,
and I asked my reflection, “How did you get there?”
You once were straight and vigorous and now you’re stooped and weak,
when I tried so hard to keep you from becoming an antique
My reflection’s eyes twinkled as she solemnly replied,
“You’re looking at the gift wrap and not the jewel inside
A living gem and precious, of unimagined worth
Unique and true, the real you, the only you on earth
The years that spoil your gift-wrap with other things more cruel,
Should purify and strengthen, and polish up that jewel
So focus your attention on the inside, not the out
On being kinder, wiser, more content and more devout
Then, when your gift-wrap’s stripped away your jewel will be set free,
To radiate God’s glory throughout eternity”
What do you think of this poem? How do you feel about it?