The poem My Creed by Edgar A. Guest is one I just ran across. I can say with all honesty that I would love to adopt this poem as a simplified measuring rod for myself. I think this poem can be both convicting and inspiring to any person who is trying to live an upright life. I can’t say that this is all I need for a creed or philosophy, but it is certainly a good start. There is a lot here.
-Edgar A. Guest
To live as gently as I can;
To be, no matter where, a man;
To take what comes of good or ill
And cling to faith and honor still;
To do my best, and let that stand
The record of my brain and hand;
And then, should failure come to me,
Still work and hope for victory.
To have no secret place wherein
I stoop unseen to shame and sin;
To be the same when I’m alone
As when my every deed is known;
To live undaunted, unafraid
Of any step that I have made;
To be without pretense or sham;
Exactly what men think I am.
To leave some simple mark behind
To keep my having lived in mind;
If enmity to aught I show,
To be an honest, generous foe,
To play my little part, nor whine
That greater honors are not mine.
This, I believe is all I need
For my philosophy and creed.