From Antonia Bell-Delgado, Intern Minister
When I started to explore the boundaries of lying, my mother decided that I should learn the poem, “Myself,” by Edgar A Guest. The first line of the poem is:
I have to live with myself and so I want to be fit for myself to know.
This poem taught me about integrity. It gave me the words to use as a shield to protect myself from the lure of losing my moral center.
I want to be able as the days go by always to look myself straight in the eye.
It gave me lessons to ponder when I did not practice integrity.
I can never hide myself from me. I see what others may never see.
And it reminds me that I must continue to speak my truth about who I am.
So, whatever happens, I want to be self-respecting and conscious free.
In the bleak January days as you ponder the theme of integrity, I hope that this poem can aid you in your quest.
Myself by Edgar A. Guest
I have to live with myself and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able as days go by,
always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun
and hate myself for the things I have done.
I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf
a lot of secrets about myself
and fool myself as I come and go
into thinking no one else will ever know
the kind of person I really am,
I don’t want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect
I want to deserve all men’s respect;
but here in the struggle for fame and wealth
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to look at myself and know that
I am bluster and bluff and empty show.
I never can hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself and so,
whatever happens I want to be
self respecting and conscience free.