Often credited wrongly to my beloved poet Pablo Neruda, this poem by Martha Medeiros reminds us not to die slowly. To never stop exploring, taking risks and adventuring into the unknown, which breathes new life into every vein. As if you needed another reason to go buy that ticket.
He who becomes the slave of habit,
who follows the same routes every day, who never changes pace,
who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
who does not speak and does not experience, dies slowly.
He or she who shuns passion,
who prefers black on white,
dotting ones i’s rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
that turn a yawn into a smile that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings, dies slowly.
He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
who is unhappy at work,
who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
to thus follow a dream,
those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives, die slowly.
He who does not travel, who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
she who does not find grace in herself, dies slowly.
He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,
who does not allow himself to be helped,
who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck,
about the rain that never stops, dies slowly.
He or she who abandons a project before starting it,
who fails to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know,
he or she who doesn’t reply when they are asked something they do know, dies slowly.
Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.
Only a burning patience will lead
to the attainment of a splendid happiness.