Today I am sharing an old poem by the ‘People’s Poet’ and it describes the importance of liking ourselves. This is an essential component of raising our self-worth, and strengthening our self-love.
From this foundation we all can see that challenges make life interesting, and the overcoming of them is what makes life worthwhile. We are strong enough for everything we find in our path.
Remember Victor Hugo’s wisdom: “God doesn’t make fruit grow on branches too weak to bear its weight.” This old adage reminds us that if we are given a challenge it means we are up to it, and the stronger we are sometimes the tougher the obstacle. If we find our self in a rough patch, let’s hold our head high and know that we must be up to the challenge or it wouldn’t have landed in our lap.
Having faith in ourselves and our abilities is sometimes as simple as the ability to lift our heads up off the pillow. It is another day. A new day. And we are here, with our self. We must like ourselves. After all, we know ourselves the best, and we know how much we have been through. Sometimes when I take a moment to remember where I came from and all that I have been through, I cannot help but want to pat myself on the back. ‘Way to Go’, I cheer to myself. ‘I’m so glad you’re still here’. Try saying that to yourself and see how much better it makes you feel.
Written by Edgar A. Guest
I have to live with myself and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I have done.
I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself
And fool myself as I come and go
Into thinking no one else will ever know
The kind of person I really am,
I don’t want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect
I want to deserve men’s respect;
But here in the struggle for fame and pelf
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to look at myself and know
I am bluster and bluff and empty show.
I never can hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself and so,
Whatever happens I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.
Edgar Guest (1881-1959) worked for more than sixty years at the Detroit Free Press, publishing his first poem at seventeen, then going on to become a reporter and columnist whose work was featured in hundreds of newspapers around the country. Guest is said to have written some 11,000 poems during his lifetime, most of it sentimental, upbeat verse. Critics may have occasionally derided his work, but America adored him. He was known as the “People’s Poet,” served as Michigan’s poet laureate, hosted a long-running radio show and TV show, and published more than twenty books.
Paul Mark Sutherland found a wonderful verse from Edgar A. Guest.
Here’s a couple of my earlier posts with poems from Edgar A. Guest:
Post updated April 14, 2016: Corrected the word wealth from ‘But here in the struggle for fame and wealth’ to pelf, an old-fashioned word meaning “money, especially when gained in a dishonest or dishonorable way.” A helpful person pointed it out to me. I welcome source information and corrections. Please contact me through the sidebar link.