while in haiti, i met a couple who recited this poem. the husband read it in its native spanish and the wife translated it into english. it’s beautiful.
Youâ€™re not depressed, youâ€™re distracted. Distracted from the life that fills you, from the life that surrounds you: dolphins, forests, seas, mountains, rivers.
Donâ€™t fall for what your brother fell for, who suffers for one person when there are 5,600 millions people in the world.
Besides, living alone isnâ€™t so bad. I have a good time deciding what I want to do every time and itâ€™s because of solitude that I know myself, a fundamental thing for living.
Donâ€™t fall for what your father fell for, who feels old because heâ€™s 70 years old and forgets that Moses guided the exodus at 80 and Rubistein played Chopin like nobody else, at 90. To mention just two familiar cases.
Youâ€™re not depressed, youâ€™re distracted because you think you lost something, which is impossible because everything has been given to you. You didnâ€™t make a single hair in your head, so you donâ€™t own anything.
And life doesnâ€™t take things from you, it liberates you from them. It makes you lighter so you can fly higher, so you can reach fullness. From the cradle to the tomb itâ€™s a school so what you call problems are really just lessons. You didnâ€™t lose anybody, those who died have just gone ahead, because thatâ€™s where weâ€™re all going. Besides, the best of them, their love, stays in your heart. Who could say Jesus is dead? Thereâ€™s no death, thereâ€™s moving. And on the other side, wonderful people wait for you: Gandhi, Michelangelo, Whitman, St. Augustine, Mother Theresa, your grandmother and my mother, who thought poverty was closer to love because money distracts us with many things and alienates us because it makes us suspicious.
Do only what you love and youâ€™ll be happy, and he who does what he loves is fated for success, which will arrive when it should, because what must be will be and will come naturally. Donâ€™t do anything under obligation or compromise but for love. Then there will be fullness and everything is possible in it. And effortless because itâ€™s the natural force of life what moves you; what lifted me up when the plane that carried my wife and daughter crashed; what kept me alive when doctors gave me only 3 or 4 months to live. God put you in charge of a human being and itâ€™s you. You must make yourself happy and set yourself free, it is only after this that youâ€™ll be able to share real life with the rest. Remember Jesus: â€œLove one another as I have loved youâ€.
Reconcile with yourself, stand in front of a mirror and think that the creature youâ€™re looking at is a work of God and decide right now to be happy because happiness is an acquisition.
And happiness is not a right but a duty because if youâ€™re not happy, youâ€™re bringing down the whole neighborhood. A single, talentless, coward man had six millions Jewish brothers killed. There are so many things to celebrate and our time on earth is so short that suffering is a waste of time. We have to celebrate the snow of the winter and the flowers of the spring, chocolate from Perusa, French baguettes, Mexican tacos, Chilean wines, the seas and rivers, Brazilian soccer, One Thousand and One Nights, The Divine Comedy, Don Quixote, Pedro PÃ¡ramo, Manzaneroâ€™s boleros and Whitmanâ€™s poetry, MÃ¤iller, Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, VelÃ¡squez, Picasso and Tamayo, among other wonders.
And if you have cancer or AIDS, only two things can happen and theyâ€™re both good: If it beats you, it sets you free from that annoying body: Iâ€™m hungry, Iâ€™m cold, Iâ€™m tired, I want to, Iâ€™m right, I have doubtsâ€¦ and if you beat it, youâ€™ll be humbler, more grateful and therefore easily happy. Free from the enormous weight of guilt, responsibility and and vanity, willing to live each moment as profoundly as it must be lived.
Youâ€™re not depressed, youâ€™re just not busy. Help the boy who needs you, that boy will be your sonâ€™s business partner. Help the elderly and the young ones will help you when youâ€™re older. Besides, service is sure happiness, like enjoying nature and caring for it for those whoâ€™ll come. Give beyond measure and youâ€™ll receive beyond measure.
Love until you become what is loved and even until you become love itself. And donâ€™t let a few suicides and homicides confuse you, goodness is the majority but you canâ€™t tell because itâ€™s quiet. A bomb is louder than a stroke but for each bomb that destroys there are millions of strokes that feed life.
Very few things as beautiful as these words have been given to me, that they seem to come out not just from a kind soul but from a very human one. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and I hope we all put them in practice. Now, letâ€™s live and complain less, donâ€™t you think?
– Facundo Cabral
* original title: No Estas Deprimido, Estas Distraido