Wise Counsel

Long ago when I was a boy my father counseled me thus :
"It is worth more than all the gold in Fort Knox,
More satisfying than any relationship built on lust.
Once possessed, it can't be safeguarded with vaults or locks.
Sometimes it comes to men who don't deserve it.
Having it can make any man feel like a king.
Despite its value, its true worth may be easy to forget,
Even though it has the ability to make a man's heart sing.
With it almost any hardship a man can endure.
Without it no amount of success can his dreams fulfill.
From it a man can drink nourishment so sweet and pure
That he soon develops the need to draw from it at will.
If he never finds it, a man senses a void in his life.
If he never knows it, he may never understand its power;
He may still have a successful career, children, and a good wife,
But, if he should have it, then above all else it will tower.
As long as he keeps it, he will be a truly lucky man.
Should he subsequently lose it, his life will be forever diminished.
Some men find it early in life, whereas others in their lifetime never can.
A truly fortunate man finds it and then keeps it until his life is finished.
My son, may you be lucky enough for it to enter your life early.
May you be smart enough to recognize when it is the real McCoy
And not be fooled by a pale imitation destined to leave you surly
When you come to realize that fate has chosen you with whom to toy.
Instead may you possess it, then do all that you possibly can
To deserve and to keep the true love of a good woman."

Harry Edward Gilleland      10.21.01