«First of all, I wish you love, and that by loving you may also be loved. But if that is not to be, then be quick in forgetting. And after you’ve forgotten, don’t hold a grudge.
I truly wish that it doesn’t happen, but if it does and you forget, may you not become desperate.
I also wish you a lot of friends, And even if they are bad and inconsequential, They should be brave and true. And, at least one, should be completely reliable.
But because life is the way it is, I also wish you enemies. Not too many or too little, just the right number, so that you will have to question your own certainties and truths. And may there be among them at least one who is just and fair, so that you can never feel too secure in your ideas.
I wish you to be useful but not irreplaceable. And in your bad moments, when you have nothing else, that sense of usefulness will keep you on your feet.
So equally, I wish you to be tolerant. Not with those that make little mistakes, because that is easy, but with those that make a lot of mistakes and irrevocably.
Make good use of this tolerance to set an example for others.
I wish that you, being young, don’t mature too quickly. And once you’re mature, don’t insist in being younger. And when you’re old, not feel desperate. Because each age has its pains and pleasures, and we need them both in our lives.
Also, I wish you to be sad at least one day, so on that day you may discover that to laugh everyday is good, to laugh often is boring, and to laugh constantly is insane.
I wish that you may discover with the greatest urgency that above, and in spite of everything, there are people around you who are depressed, unhappy and unjustly treated.
I wish you to caress a dog, to feed a bird and to listen to its chirp as well, as it sings triumphantly early in the morning. Because this way you will feel good for no reason.
And then I wish you may sow a seed, even if it is very small. And may you accompany its growth so that you will discover how many lives a tree is made of.
I wish as well and that you may have money, because we need to be practical. And that,at least once a year, you put some of this money in front of you and say «This is mine». So it is perfectly clear who owns whom.
Also, I wish none of your loved ones may die, But if some of them do, I wish you may cry without regret and without feeling guilty for the things you never said or the things you never did.
Finally, I wish for you that being a man, you may have a good woman and being a woman, you may have a good man. And that you love each other tomorrow and the day after, and all the days to follow. And when you both are exhausted and smiling, that there is still love to start over again.
If all these things would happen to you, Then I wish for you nothing more.»
̣― Sergio Jockymann
original title: Os Votos (Desejo)
(wrongly attributed to Victor Hugo?)
Read at the LitUp! Letters, Email, What’s Up?, November 2015.