If 2015 proved challenging, I hope this 2016 manifesto I created with classic words of wisdom leads to an inspiring new year. It was a tough up and down year for me and many of my friends. Every time I felt sorry for myself, I’d be reminded of someone worse off. It didn’t take much. Sure there were fond milestones like birthdays (my cat turned 21) or my stepson being accepted to every law school he’d applied for but for every good turn, there were plenty of woes.
One of my friends and former colleague posted an inspirational poem on Instagram. She’d had the laminated poem for years and it gave her comfort once again while fighting the effects of chemo, valiantly documented online. Another friend is also undergoing chemo for a stage 4 cancer. She chooses to fight her fight privately. Both are exceptional women, brave in their own way and both inspire me to do better, be kinder by their example. As crappy as they often feel, they will respond to a lament in my email, retweet something or “like” a neglected cat photo of mine on Instagram. They didn’t know how that tiny action or acknowledgment kept me from drowning when I felt exhausted and on the verge of quitting a new venture.
The author of the poem, widely circulated a “Don’t Quit” is listed as unknown but I quickly found a controversy surrounding its authorship. Attribution is important to me and I found the author and that the poem in the public domain. The correct title is “Keep Going” by Edgar A. Guest. He was born in England in 1881 but emmigrated to the U.S. as a young child and went on to become “America’s Poet”. Parts of the poem felt dated and I tweaked it for a more contemporary sense. I hope no one minds.
If you know someone who might appreciate a kindness or needs a strong dose of hope, please share. It might be all the difference in the world to them today, or months from now. May you find your true north no matter which way the wind blows in 2016! May you be happy and healthy, loved and at peace.