When I was a student, Max Ehrmann's poem " Desiderata" hung on my wall as an inspiration to provide shape and form to the type of person I would like to become. Next to it hung a passage on Friendship by Kahlil Gibran. I know now that these two poets -- one American, the other Lebanese -- lived at the same time. Both found inspiration during times of great violence and great sorrow (the First World War and the Great Depression). Over the decades since, their rich poetry and prayers about life and living have enriched people's lives across the breadth of the world. My life has been one of these. Now in the "Golden Years" of life, I offer an extract of Max Ehrmann's poem called simply:
Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am; and keep ever
burning before my vagrant steps the kindly light of hope.
And though age and infirmity overtake me, and I come not within
sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for
life, and for time’s olden memories that are good and sweet; and
may the evening’s twilight find me gentle still.