I Am Going to Continue / Dora Leonor Mesa

I am going to continue believing when people lose hope.
I am going to continue loving, although others sow hatred.
I am going to continue building, when others destroy.
I am going to continue speaking of peace, although in the midst of war.
I am going to continue illuminating, although in the midst of darkness.
I am going to continue sowing, although others step on the shoots.
I am going to continue screaming, when others remain silent.
I will draw smiles, on faces with tears.
I will spread cheer, when I see pain
and offer reasons for happiness where there is only sadness.
I will invite those who stay put to walk with me
and raise the arms of those who have given up.
Because in the middle of the desolation, there will always be a child
we will look at, hopeful, waiting for something from us, and still in
the midst of a storm, somewhere the sun will come out and in the midst
of the desert a plant will grow.
There will always be a bird who sings to us, a child who makes us smile,
and a butterfly who brings us her beauty.
But… if some day you see that I no longer smile or call, just
come closer and give me a kiss, a hug, the gift of a smile,
that will be enough.
Surely life will have slapped me
and surprised me for a second.
Just your gesture will set me back on my path.
Don’t ever forget.

Gabriela Mistral

Pseudonym of Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, daughter of a rural professor, poet and Chilean diplomat. She was a distinguished teacher. In Mexico she worked on educational reform with José Vasconcelos, another important educator, philosopher and Mexican politician.

In 1945 the distinguished Chilean teacher became the first Latin American writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her literary pseudonym showed her admiration of the European poets Gabriele D’Annunzio and Frédéric Mistral.

August 14 2012