MY FAVORITE POEM by Edgar Guest
“I have to live with myself, and I want to be fit for myself to know. I want to be able as the days go by, always to look myself straight in the eye. I do not want to stand with the setting sun and hate myself for the things I have done. I want to be able to go out with my head erect. I want to be able to deserve all people’s respect. For here in this struggle for fame and self, I want to be able to like myself. I do not want to look at myself and know that I am all bluster, and an empty show. I know what others may never know. I see what others may never see and so I want to be self-respecting and conscious free.”
During the many times I was with Coach John Wooden, so very often folks would approach him and heap praise on him. His gracious reply was, “Thank you so much. But I want you to know that I am not what I ought to be, not what I want to be, not what I am going to be, but I am thankful I am not what I used to be. I realize I am a work in progress and your kind comments have stimulated me to be a better person.“
Perhaps the most important part of the quest for freedom is in discovering ourselves, and that may be the hardest part. When you try to live up to an image dictated by others, it can be very difficult to ever know exactly who you are and what you want. There is nothing as beneficial as true knowledge of ourselves because we are what we are in the eyes of God, nothing more or nothing less.
If you really know what you are within yourself, the opinion of others will not affect you. The very first step toward being what you can be is to know who you really are. The most interesting journey any of us will ever make is discovering ourselves. It is a lot easier to gain the applause of the world than to gain the unqualified approval of one’s self. The only conquest that brings peace and happiness is conquest of self. The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat yourself.
When we do experience failure in our jobs or personal lives we should not shackle ourselves with guilt because it can lead to the silent suffocation of our spirit. We can become ineffective because of unresolved guilt. You have to let it be over or it will destroy your self-esteem. The lack of forgiveness can cause anxiety, depression, illness, self-doubt, and suicide. If you are going to live a productive life, you have to forgive yourself and quit beating yourself up with the thoughts I should have done that or I could have done better. Oscar Wilde described all of us perfectly. “ EVERY SAINT HAS A PAST AND EVERY SINNER HAS A FUTURE.”
Every day in some way our courage will be tested but remember that adversity only visits the strong but stays forever with the weak. Always remember, what lies behind you and what lies ahead of you is of very little importance compared to what lies within in you. God never makes any junk!