So many of Robert Burns’ poems and songs offer the window to our inner selves, reaching the real “we” who get submerged and sometimes locked away by the pressures of this day and age. But he isn’t the only one who can remind us how we should feel for the ones we love, not just on the day his genius is celebrated, but for every day, of every year.

We can look beyond him to find inspiration in words that he might have acknowledged as reaching the soul in the manner at which he was so adept.

With due deference to Burns, the following lines from these modern times seem to sum up a few of the dilemmas that followed him throughout his life – as they might for so many of us, even more so in these challenging times – the dilemma of how to be the best we can be, for those who matter most to us:

Robert Burns Chess Set

These words come from “A River Runs Through It”- a tale of three brothers and their father living in the remote wilderness of 1900s USA, whose lives are irrevocably changed by nature, history, war, love and duplicity.

“It is true, we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so, it is those we live with, and should know, Who elude us.
But we can still love them. We can love completely. Without complete understanding”.

As the father of two grown up daughters, I hold these truths to be self-evident.

John W Morgan