My Dad and Mom

This was a poem that we found among my dads stuff as we were sorting things after he died. My brother Mike had it posted up at Dad's funeral. I thought that it was a very meaningful set of thoughts. Something that everybody could use to live by, and I can see that my Dad believed it.

I want to live with myself & so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able as days go by
Always to look myself in the eye.
I don't want to stand with the setting sun
Hating myself for the things I've done.
I don't want to heap my closet shelf
With lots of secrets of myself
And fool myself as I come and go
Into thinking nobody else will know
The kind of guy I really am.

I don't want to cover myself with shame.
I want to stand with my head erect;
I want to earn the world's respect.
And in the struggle for fame and wealth -
I want to be able to like myself.
I can never hide myself from me
I see what others never know
I can never fool myself and so
Whatever happens I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.

--- Edgar A Guest ---