What stealthy barrier is this
That barricades the anxious will?
From whence came you that needs dismiss
Such anxious maps that now stand still?
Disgraceful nature, who resists
All fruitless counteractions, fill
My cup with strength that I enlist
To battle in an equal deal!
Though great achievements truly reached
Successfully, the greater ones
Shortcome all trials to be teached;
My hope to hopelessness so bows -
Remembrance then of one, I clutch
My thankless soul, for I have won.
People trampling one another in a rush to reach the counter, shoving and elbowing their way to the front, grabbing for things others had managed to get their hands on, meanwhile crying children are either left behind or dragged into the turmoil by thoughtless mothers, some who manage to get away with an article, stare in disbelief at the torn mess they had fought for, others who have escaped with articles in fairly good condition, drive clerks into a state of frenzy with silly little arguments; all to get the 'Bargains'.
With my blistered knuckles I grasped the golden bars of my prison. With my broken voice I wailed and howled pitifully like a stupid mongrel. My shadowy face was etched with tearstains. I watched the gaoler move silently from me in the sky, his golden keys that made not a sound, hanging from his invisible belt, and gleaming brightly.
How I cussed him! My face was wrinkled in bitter hate. Go, silent gaoler and leave me in this detestable cage forever!
But the night was growing darker. The air was growing colder. The clouds were growing thicker. The crescent breeze began to mock me. The golden bars were turning to lead. The gaoler, with his golden keys was stepping slowly and silently out of the sky.
Suddenly my hate turned to panic. Come back, gaoler, I cried. Please come back, and let me out of this prison, come back. He ignored me and stepped into a sea of blood.
I choked, and sank slowly to my knees. With my face pressed against the icy bars, I watched the red sea disappear into the darkness. And I still watched, and began to dream of things past and present - things that might have been.
Life is a comedy of little tragedies - little mishaps, little failures, little disappointments. To us, at the time, they seem very big, and very crushing indeed. But later, when time erases the bitterness, we learn to laugh at these tragedies, realize how insignificant they really are, and wonder how we ever let them worry us. But sometimes we let these tragedies laugh at us. Sometimes we wallow in a cage of self-pity, or empty pride. We grow cold inside, and isolate ourselves from the world. Sometimes we blame ourselves, but usually we lamely try to blame someone else. We spend the rest of our lives staring wistfully at the past and watch the silent years turn their backs on us.
Yet the answer is simple. All we have to do is stand up, turn around, smile and walk out of the prison towards the glowing sunrise that is waiting for us.
It takes courage to do that.
A boy asks his friend for some advice.
"I am madly in love with a girl in our school. I go out of my way to see her in the halls and do headstands and cartwheels to attract her attention but she just walks right by. What can I do to make her notice me?"