Chapter 2.4 Have you Earned Your Tomorrow


Chapter 2.4 Have you Earned Your Tomorrow

Chapter 2.4 Have you Earned Your Tomorrow

Textbook Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Complete the following web


Question 2.
Discuss with your paitner about the different idioms/proverbs related to word ‘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]

Question 3.
When you make your future plans you think of:

  1. Career
  2. Higher studies
  3. Retirement-plans/Financial security
  4. Family life
  5. Goal in life to be accomplished

Question 4.
‘Plan your tomorrow’ by completing the table given below.


Question 1.
Discuss with your friend how she/he spent the whole day that was beneficial for others.

(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


Question (i)
……..’was it well or sorely spent’? Explain the meaning and give illustrations.

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 everyday. 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?

Question (ii)
‘As you close your eyes in slumber do you think that God would say,
You have earned one more tomorrow by the work you did today?’
Elaborate the idea expressed in these lines.

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.

Question (iii)
The poet suggests that one should do good to others. Complete the table by giving examples of doing good to following people.


Question (i)
Pick out the describing words from the poem and add a noun of your own.

Question (ii)
Match the words given in column A with their meaning in column B:


  1. Cheerful – happy
  2. Selfish – concerned with one’s own pleasure
  3. Sorely – with the feeling of disappointment
  4. Discontent – lack of satisfaction

Question (iii)
There are a few examples of homonyms in the poem. For example ‘spoke’. List homonyms from the poem and give their meanings.


  1. (of a candidate) be successful in (an examination, test, or course).
  2. went past/left behind Deed:
  3. an action that is performed intentionally or consciously.
  4. a legal document that is signed and delivered, especially one regarding the ownership of property or legal rights.

1. use or expend carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose.
(of a person or a part of the body) become progressively weaker and more emaciated.
2. (of a material, substance, or by-product) eliminated or discarded as no longer useful or required after the completion of a process.

Question (iv)
Find out expressions/phrases which denote, ‘going away’ from each stanza.

  1. Stanza 1: “is almost over”
  2. Stanza 1: “passed his way”
  3. Stanza 1: “is almost over”
  4. Stanza 2: “vanish in the throng”
  5. Stanza 2: “rushed along”
  6. Stanza 3: “were fading now”


Question (i)
The poet has used different poetic devices like Alliteration and Interrrogation in the poem. Identify them and pick out the lines.

Question (ii)
The rhyme scheme of the first stanza is ‘aabb’. Find the rhyme scheme of other stanzas.

The rhyme scheme of all the stanzas is ‘aabb’.


Question (i)
Write the appreciation of this poem based on the points given below :

  • About the poem/ poet and the title
  • The theme
  • Poetic style
  • The language/poetic devices used in the poem
  • Special features
  • Message, Values, Morals in the poem
  • Your opinion about the poem

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 your 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.

Question (ii)
Prepare a mind map on ‘How to plan a goal for tomorrow’ or ‘My future goal’. Take the help of points given in ‘Writing Skills Section’ for preparing a mind map.

Maharashtra Board Class 12 English Yuvakbharati Solutions Chapter 2.4 Have you Earned Your Tomorrow 3

Question (iii)
Write a set of 8 to 10 interview questions to be asked to a social worker. Take the help of the following points:

  • Childhood
  • Education
  • Service
  • Difficulties
  • Future plans
  • Achievements
  • Message


  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 you?
  9. What is the message you want to give to those in this noble field? What would be your tip especially for youngsters?

Question (iv)
Compose 4-6 lines on your own on ‘Good deeds’.

‘Good deeds’
The tree gives shade and fruits it does not eat
The river flows cool and sweet of water it doesn’t drink.
When a stranger sad or in need you may meet
Be sure you lift him up, not let him into despair sink.


Question (i)
Find out different career opportunities in the field of social work.

Question (ii)
Collect information of the NGOs working for the underprivileged section of the society.

Read the poem and complete the activities given below:

Personal Response:

Question 1.
Describe the various ways you use to greet your elder.

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.

Poetic Devices:

Question 1.
Identify an example of synecdoche from the poem.

‘Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said;’
The word ‘heart’, 3rd line of the 3rd stanza is an example of synecdoche.
The word heart – a part – refers to a whole or the person who is rejoicing.