To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.
The above are the closing lines of Shelley’s epic poem, Prometheus Unbound. I adopted them as a sort of personal creed some years ago, when it became obvious that mental illness was going to be a major factor in my life, going forward.
This week, I again pick up the challenge of living a life which is good, great, joyous, beautiful and free – even though I know there will be moments when hope seems hopeless, the power of my illness seems omnipotent, and I am called upon to forgive “wrongs darker than death or night”.
Do you have a personal credo by which you live, or aspire to live?
Percy Bysshe Shelley by Alfred Clint