Monday, April 16, 2012

Look Well, Therefore, To This Day

My dad found a way to instill productivity in his children. From my earliest recollections I can hear my dad saying, "Do something constructive." and, "Finish what you start." To this day, I sometimes most often feel guilty if I am not 'doing something'! 

Dad's words echo those, a bit less eloquently or perhaps a bit more succinctly, of Kalidasa in his "Salutation to the Dawn".

I was introduced to Kalidasa's words at summer camp. Our camp director would close the morning flag raising on most days, with this powerful recommendation. For many years, the salutation meant little to me, except that it was keeping me from my breakfast. But, as I matured I began to listen to the words. I began to embrace the words. 

Look to this day
for it is life.
The very life of life.
In its brief course lie all
the verities and truths of existence;
the joy of growth,
the splendor of action,
the glory of power.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But, today well-lived
makes every yesterday 
a dream of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day;
Such is the salutation to the new dawn.

Kalidasa's words define my life.  I try to live each day to the maximum extent possible. I lie abed in the morning and plan my day. I outline each moment. Should there be a minute that I have not accounted for, I 'Look well, therefore, to this day' and get involved. I make sure that I am doing something constructive and that I finish everything most things I start. Such is the way I was raised!

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