Sunday, January 27, 2008

Did I tell you?

This is a letter that an old friend gave to me.
It's by Elizabeth Knapp, who has a website. I don't know much about the author at all, but
I think of this as a letter I wish I had written to my own children...or one that my parents wrote to me...

Did I tell you?

Now that you are grown,
I look back and ask myself-
Did I tell you all that I meant to tell you, all that I felt was important?
Did I tell you or was it lost in the shuffle of our Everyday lives.
The busy full days when we taught and didn’t know it.
What did I teach? Was it strong? Was it good?
Will it root you in something real that will allow you to grow with a firm and sound foundation?
Did I tell you…

Did I tell you to love?
Not with a fair-weather love, but with a love that accepts and cherishes unconditionally.
Love not with a quick and passing love, but with a love that is a quiet peace within your heart.

Did I tell you to be thoughtful?
Not to be a martyr or a doormat to be trod upon, but to be aware of other people and their needs.
To meet others with awareness and within your own framework,
Be able to meet them halfway and on occasion, go the other half joyfully.

Did I tell you to be courteous?
Not to display empty manners with no meaning but to live the courtesy born of caring.
And to express this caring through the small formalities and customs born of the years.

Did I tell you to be bold?
To be not afraid of the unknown, but to live life to the fullest, and meet each new experience with joy and anticipation.
And did I tell you to be cautious?
To temper your daring and sense of adventure with good judgment and consideration.

Did I tell you to serve other people if only in a small way?
There is growth and satisfaction in being part of something larger than yourself and your life will be richer for knowing this.

Did I tell you to find a part of nature that speaks to you?
Then know it intimately and well. For some it is a mountain peak, for some a windswept beach.
Find your own and in it find your restoration.

Did I tell you to maintain a sense of the past?
To recall and uphold all that is best and meaningful in our country and in our society.
But never be afraid to speak out when you don’t believe or where there is room for improvement.
Work for what you believe, but work in a positive way, with a structure of order and reason.
Remember your ancestors; learn about them, so you can know of where you came.

Did I tell you to be creative?
To explore the seed within you.
Find your creative spirit and let it grow.

Did I tell you to laugh to dance to sing?
There is a lot in life that is hard, but take it as is comes and find the good…
And make time to dance.

And did I tell you always to respect yourself?
Don't compromise your morals- do what you know to be right and good, regardless of what others may do.

Did I tell you these things as we went along the way?
If I did, I am humbly grateful.
If I did not, then choose for yourself.
If it has meaning to you, accept it and make it your own.
If it does not, discard it.
Your life is yours to build as you choose.
And did I tell you…I hope it will be a good life.

No comments: