One of the most popular comedians in the world, Charlie Chaplin has been a part of many films between 1920 and 1950. So while many people think that his contribution was to the film world, very few know that he was extremely wise and insightful as well.
The scene from The Great Dictator in which Charlie speaks of our connectedness as human beings, our inherent rights on the planet, and how we have lost our way because of greed, is perhaps our greatest indication of the mind behind the man. Even though he passed away almost 50 years ago, his legacy lives on and he continues to inspire us daily with amazing insight, wisdom, and humour. The following poem offers his unique and perceptive understanding of self-love.
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it RESPECT.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it SELF-CONFIDENCE.
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it SIMPLICITY.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is MODESTY.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it FULFILMENT.
What an beautiful narration on self-love! This poem is proof that Charlie Chaplin has understood to a large extent what life is all about. This poem powerfully reminds us that there is a lesson to be found in all of life’s experiences. Although we may not be able to see it at the time, in retrospect we may discover how these life lessons have moulded our very personality and nature. Each line of the poem shares a lesson which we can keep in mind when we have that feeling that we are not good enough or not where we want to be. Stay inspired always.