(a manifesto of personal comportment)
Calm, composed, and intent
despite all manner
of diversion and distraction
I will be,
as – still within –
I navigate the hubbub
ever nearing my destination.
With candor and grace,
courtesy and compassion,
empathy and tolerance,
I shall endeavor to respect all,
stopping short only
of compromising my principles
or relinquishing my free will.
Knowing my own mind,
in my scruples secure,
I will assert my views
attentive ever to
and considerate ever of
Focusing on my own fortunes,
my aspirations and progress theretoward,
by my own notions of success
I will proceed
mindful of others’ circumstances,
of differing goals and assessments
without undue juxtaposition.
Wary of treachery and deceit, but bearing in mind
the essential decency and admirable struggles
of most people,
I’ll go my course
striving to be genuine,
true to myself and authentic to others
and to age with some aplomb while cleaving to the light.
The same firm tenderness
which I wish
to show to all
I shall bestow upon myself,
that accepting oneself and embracing life
make kindness to others come naturally.
In the face of misgivings regarding the ways of the world,
fully aware of inequity and egregious injustice,
opportunism and sheer villainy,
I will cultivate hope and even optimism
remembering the giants on whose shoulders I stand
and giving thanks to the higher power.