Follow your heart, but don’t completely ignore your head. Pursue your dreams, but fulfill your obligations. Understand the importance of real income, but do not devalue your psychic income – the level of satisfaction derived from a job. Many of life’s decisions are dictated by money – how much you have, how much you need, how much you owe. Money is, for most of us, a major influence in our choice of careers, where we live, and the number of children we have. I cannot tell you that money does not matter. It does. But look around and you will see that some of the happiest people in the world are teachers and public servants, artists and musicians, journalists and directors of non-profits, aid workers and clergy, people who forsake more lucrative careers for the sake of a satisfying life. Some of the most frustrated, unhappy souls are those who pursue careers for money and status and nothing more. Between European vacations and rounds of golf are dysfunctional lives torn asunder by the devastating knowledge of a life wasted.
Be skeptical, not cynical. Ask questions. Be cautious of smooth talking salesmen and slick politicians. Avoid gullibility, but don’t assume that you always have the answers. You don’t.
We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. . . . That you are here - that life exists . . . that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play “goes on” and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
But don’t forget the bananas.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.