Walking Shadow

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player ... It is a tale told by an idiot ... signifying nothing

Desiderata – Words for Life

by Max Ehrmann

Though this beautiful poem was written by Max Ehrmann in 1927, it is even more relevant today.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

An Outstretched Hand

for Jay Allen

by Rod McKuen

Each of us was made by God and some of us grew tall. Others stood out in the wind their branches bent and fell. Those of us who walk in light must help the ones in darkness up. For that’s what life is all about and live is all there is to life.

Each of us was made by God beautiful in His mind’s eye. Those of us that turned out sound should look across our shoulders once and help the weak ones to their feet.

It only takes an outstretched hand.

For My Son

by Rod McKuen

Watching children grow is like threatening the ivy to climb the garden wall. You wait for it to happen you hurry it along with love. But still you’re disappointed at giving someone life enough to walk off on their own and not be carried in your arms. You never turn your back—not once, and yet one day they’ve grown apart or taller. It’s all the same.

Polly put the kettle on we’ll all have tea. Giving love to children has made us older overnight.

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