I’m breaking from my typical marketing blather this morning to bring you two beautiful poems — ‘The Invitation’ by Orrin Mountain Dreamer, a Native American Elder and ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling.
Both offer wisdom during uncertain times. Enjoy and feel free to share with others.
By Orrin Mountain Dreamer – Native American Elder
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting you heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are, I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon, I want to know if you have touched the center of your sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals, or if you have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine and your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with JOY, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true, I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself, if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see the beauty even when it is not pretty everyday and if you can source your life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours or mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver moon, “YES!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have, I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you are or how you came to be here, I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied, I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
By Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, or being hated don’t give way to hating, and yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim, if you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, and stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, and lose, and start again at your beginnings, and never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch, if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, if all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, yours is the earth and everything that’s in it, and which is more;
You’ll be a man, my son!