Archive for love-of-self

Some words on Shadow

As I descend into basement shadows, I am washed in red.

Smoothness is not a choice on the earthly plane.

As light reveals, so also shadows are spawned.

With this I must learn to rock my ignorance to sleep to await its hungry cry.

I must feed my insincerity its milky gruel.

I must give my meanness rapt attention.

I must dine with my shallowness and play chess with my incompetence.

I must massage my cruelty’s neck and let my coldness share my bed.

I must serve tea to my gloom and warm my fear’s cold feet, while tucking in my weakness for the night.

I must play cards with my animal passions and wrap my ugliness in my favorite silken robe.

I must sing to my conceit and pick up my naivete and hold it close in my arms.

All these folk live in my house, as they must.

I must honor their darkness for in it they help make the light shine.

With this, all at once and in balance, the wholeness of soul can be truly found.

Happy is the house where all sleep warm.

Where no one must lie in the basement, damp alone and afraid-

and enraged at the one who locked the cellar door

All those many years before.

— Unknown

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.

Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.

Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.

Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.

Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.

Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.

Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.

Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.

Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

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