Mário de Andrade was a Brazilian poet, novelist, musicologist, art historian and critic, and photographer. This famous and poignant poem by him is known by two titles: “The Valuable Time of Maturity” and “My Soul Has a Hat.” It resonated with me so I thought I would share during this month of love.

I counted my years and found that I have less time to live than I have already lived. 

I feel like that child who won a box of candies: he eats the first ones with pleasure, but when he realizes there are only a few left, he really begins to enjoy them. 

I don’t have time for endless meetings to discuss statutes, rules, procedures and internal regulations, knowing that nothing will be achieved. 

I no longer have time to endure absurd people who, despite their chronological age, have not grown up. 

I no longer have time to struggle with mediocrity. 

I don’t tolerate manipulators and opportunists. 

I am bothered by the envious people who try to discredit the more able to seize their positions, talents and achievements. 

My time is too short: I want the essence because my soul is in a hurry. I don’t have many sweets in the package anymore. 

I want to live with people who are very human. People who can laugh at their mistakes, who are not inflated by their triumphs and who do not flee from their responsibility. Who defend human dignity and who move toward truth and righteousness. 

It is what makes life worth living. 

I want to surround myself with people who know how to touch the hearts of others. People who learned through the hard blows of life to grow through gentle touches of the soul. 

Yes, I’m in a hurry—I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give. 

I don’t intend to waste any of the sweets I have left. I am sure they will be more delicious than the ones I have eaten so far. 

My goal is to reach the end satisfied, in peace with myself, my loved ones and my conscience. 

We have two lives, and the second begins when you realize that you only have one.