Be good, but not too good – a little naughty, but not too naughty. Say a prayer if you feel that way, say Damn if it gives you consolation.
Be kind to the world always, if possible – yet, if you must be unkind, smash right and left, get it over and forget it.
Smile, always smile, have a smile ready even though sometimes it hurts. Grab all the happiness you can – whenever and wherever you can – don’t let even a wee bit slip past you.
Live, above all things live, don’t simply exist. If you are blessed enough to know what real love is – love with all your heart, soul, and body.
Live your life so that at any hour you will be able to shake hands with yourself, and try to accomplish at least one thing worthwhile each day. Then when your nights come you will be able to pull up the covers and say to yourself –
“I have done my best.”
~ F. Collis Wildman
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Remember This was written in 1906 and printed in 1926. Litigation as to copyright ownership was settled in November, 1941: Wildman v. New York Times.
Wildman lost the case.
I came across this poem last year. Tucked inside a plain wood frame, the simple words spoke to me and so, I paid my dollar, and brought it home.
And here it sits in my little blue room, words to contemplate and sometimes, live by; not the purest prose, nor most compelling. Still, I find it sometimes brings me comfort when I need it most, and hope when hope is fleeting, as hope is want to do.
I told myself this year that I would make an honest effort not to moan or cry; that I would look forward, do what I need to do to move in that direction. Thinking of my writing now, my little novels in various stages of completion, and none yet sold. But Wildman’s words tend to transcend my limited vision of what years past have been and what this year will be. They spill into reality– this is my life, such that it is, with all its trials and tribulations seen, unseen, and yet to come. I read his little ode and smile or curse when I need to; vow again to be true to myself, and kind.
Wildman did not want his words relinquished without personal monetary gain. Failing that, he tried to keep them to himself, and failed again, which was too bad for him. But on days like this, it is a small and unassuming blessing for the likes of me.