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Friday 26 November 2010

Some heavy thinking been going on

Yesterday was Thanksgiving for those of you who are in the US. For those of a non-US persuasion; Thanksgiving was originally a harvest festival, but has morphed into a mixture of family feast and an excuse pre-christmas consumerism (check out Black Friday if you don't believe me). Off course, when in deepest Africa, the perspective on thing changes somewhat... not only are we far from harvest season (or rather, harvest is something that goes on all year around) and I am far from my loved ones, but the concept of going crazy over cheap consumer goods is about as relevant to the people around me as learning to ski...

Related to that, my better half pointed me to a poem that was unknown to me, but which neatly sums up a large part of my life philosophy: Be honest, happy, cheerful and enjoy life. Stuff usually works out in the end And remember that there usually is a difference between what people want and what they really need, and that include yourself...


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender

be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,

you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,

be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

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