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02 November 2006

Focal point:
William Saroyan, “In the Time of Your Life”

William Saroyan. Image source: Pollinger Ltd.AMERICAN AUTHOR WILLIAM SAROYAN (1908-1981) wrote the following as prologue for his Pulitzer Prize-winning play “The Time of Your Life”. The words testify to the possibilities of the human spirit to reflect attributes of the divine.

In the time of your life, live—so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed.In the time
of your life, live—
so that in that wondrous time you shall
not add

to the misery and sorrow of the world
Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart.

Be the inferior of no man, or of any men be superior. Remember that every man is a variation of yourself. No man's guilt is not yours, nor is any man's innocence a thing apart. Despise evil and ungodliness, but not men of ungodliness or evil. These, understand. Have no shame in being kindly and gentle but if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret.

In the time of your life, live—so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.
Source: William Saroyan, “The Time of Your Life” (1939)

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