Are you willing…
to forget what you have done for other people,
and to remember what other people have done for you;
to ignore what the world owes you,
and to think what you owe the world;
to put your rights in the background,
and your duties in the middle distance,
and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground;
to see that men and women are just as real as you are,
and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy;
to own up to the fact that probably the only good reason
for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life,
but what you are going to give to life;
to close your book of complaints against the management
of the universe, and look around you for a place where
you can sow a few seeds happiness--
Then you can keep Christmas.
-Henry Van Dyke
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