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Poems for Thought


Being Appreciative

Into my heart’s treasury
I slipped a coin
That time cannot erase
Nor a thief purloin.
O better than the minting
Of a gold crowned king
Is the safe kept memory
Of a lovely thing.

            Sara Teasdale

Every soul that touches yours---
Be it the slightest contact---
Get there from some good;
Some little grace; one kindly thought;
One aspiration yet unfelt;
One bit of courage
For the darkening sky;
One gleam of faith
To brave the thickening ills of life;
One glimpse of brighter skies
To make this life worth while
And heaven a surer heritage.
            George Eliot

The tide recedes but leaves behind
bright seashells on the sand,
The sun goes down, but gentle warmth
still lingers on the land,
The music stops, and yet it echoes on
in sweet refrains…
For every joy that passes,
something beautiful remains.
            Hardin Marshall

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Being your Best

If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley, but be
The best little scrub on the side of the hill.
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.
If you can’t be a bush, be a bit of grass
And some highway happier make.
If you can’t be a Muskie, then be a bass
But the liveliest bass in the lake.
We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be the crew.
There’s something for all of us here.
There’s big work to do and there’s lesser to do
And the thing we must do is the near.
If you can’t be a highway, then just be a trail.
If you can’t be the sun, be a star.
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail.
Be the best of whatever you are.

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Being Blessed

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His Hand.
            An Irish Blessing

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Being Fearless

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you NOT to be?
You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the World.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
            Nelson Mandela/Marianne Williamson

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,--
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That cannot keep them pushed apart;
And he whose world is flat—the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.
            Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Being a Friend

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship.
            Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once in a while
a friendship’s made that
really warms the heart.
Once in a while
a friendship’s found
to live a lifetime through
It really does happen…
Just once in a while…
It happens to me
and to you.

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Being Helpful

If I can stop one Heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one Life from Aching
Or cool one pain
Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again
I shall not live in Vain.
            Emily Dickinson

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Being Human

‘Tis the human touch in the world that counts
The touch of your hand on mine
That means far more to the lonely heart
Than shelter or bread or wine
For shelter is gone when the night is past
And bread lasts only a day
But the touch of the hand
And the sound of the voice
Sing on in the heart always.
            Spencer Michael Free

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Being Humorous

Give me a sense of humor, Lord
Give me the grace to see a joke,
To get some pleasure out of life
And pass it on to other folk.
Give me sympathy and sense
And keep my courage high.
Give me calm and confidence,
And, please, a twinkle in the eye.
            Dale Turner

Fear less, hope more;
Eat less, chew more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Hate less, love more;
And all good things are yours.
            Swedish verse

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Being Introspective

Go not abroad for happiness.
For see,
It is a flower that blooms at thy door.
Bring love and justice home,
and then no more
Thou’lt wonder in what dwelling
Joy may be.
            Minot J. Savage

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.
            William Wordsworth

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Being Involved

It isn’t the thing you do;
It’s the thing you leave undone
Which gives you a bit of heartache
At the setting of the sun.
The tender word forgotten,
The letter you did not write,
The flower you might have sent
Are your haunting ghosts at night.

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered,
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives,
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies,
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow,
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable,
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight,
People really need help but may attack you if you help them,
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth,
            A Sign in one of Mother Teresa’s homes

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Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying of self that we are born to eternal life.
            St. Francis of Assisi

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Being a Listener

His thoughts were slow
His words were few
and never formed to glisten
But he was a joy to all his friends,
You ought to have seen him listen.

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Being Loving

A bell is no bell till you ring it
A song is no song till you sing it
Love in the heart wasn’t put there to stay
Love isn’t love till you give it away.

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Being Peaceful

The choice between love and fear is made every moment in our hearts and minds.
That is where the peace process begins.
Without peace within, peace in the world is an empty wish.
Like love, peace is extended.
It cannot be brought from the world to the heart.
It must be brought from each heart to
another, and thus to all mankind.
            Paul Ferrini

Slow me down, Lord. 
Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind. 
Steady my hurried pace with the vision of the eternal reach of time. 
Give me amidst the confusion of my day the calmness of the everlasting hills. 
Teach me the art of taking minute vacations – of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pet a dog, to read a few lines from a good book. 
Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soul of life’s enduring values.

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Being Questioning

Believe nothing because a so-called wise man said it.
Believe nothing because the belief is generally held.
Believe nothing because it is written in an ancient book.
Believe nothing because it was said to be of divine origin.
Believe nothing because someone else believes it.
Believe only what you yourself judge to be true.

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Being Responsive

I shall pass through this world but once. 
Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. 
Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
            Stephen Greliet

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Being Sharing

Nor knowest thou what argument
Thy life to thy neighbor’s creed has lent.
All are needed by each one;
Nothing is fair or good alone.
            Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Being a Smile

They might not need me
Yet they might.
I’ll let my face be just in sight
A smile as small as mine might be
Precisely their necessity!
            Emily Dickinson

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Being Successful

A successful person is one who has tried, not cried;
who has worked, not dodged;
who has shouldered responsibility, not evaded it;
who has got under the burden, instead of standing off, looking on and giving advice.
            Elbert Hubbard

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