I love weddings; they are times of great joy when everyone seems to be on their best behaviour. Recently, my daughter got married and she sent me over a poem she and her future husband wanted me to read out during the ceremony – The Art of Marriage by Wilferd Arlan Peterson. Apparently, it is one of the most iconic wedding poems of all time, and was read at the Las Vegas wedding of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. I had never heard of it before but I have included an excerpt below:
Happiness is not something that just happens.
It must be created.
The little things are the big things:
Never being too old to hold hands.
Remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
Never going to sleep angry.
At no time taking the other for granted;
Having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
Standing together facing the world.
Forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
Doing things for each other, not in the attitude
of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
Speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
Not looking for perfection in each other.
Cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour.
Having the capacity to forgive and forget. Giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
Finding room for the things of the spirit.
A common search for the good and the beautiful.
Establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
As I read the poem for the first time, it struck me that the wise words it contains would be good advice, not just for a couple of newlyweds, but for everyone.
Imagine if the whole world was able to put these sentiments into practice every day. It would be as if heaven had come to earth.
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