This was written by me in 1962 on Cape Cod, Mass. It was a warm summer afternoon on Old Silver Beach in Falmouth. I started writing this, not knowing why or where it was coming from. I Don’t think these words came to me, But rather came thru me. After it was completed, I realized that I was writing about myself. I have not share this with anyone in the past 45 years. Now I feel it is time to share it with you. I call this writing:
‘For What It’s Worth’
I don’t like what you seem to becoming. You must always stay ‘you’. You say you don’t care. Nonchalance is both good and unusual but don’t jump the thin line that separates it from apathy. This is truly an I-don’t-care attitude that can and will destroy both society as well as the person. This would be such a waste when all it takes to overcome is a little thought. ‘Know yourself’. Once this is done, everything else comes calmly, freely and as a matter of course in knowing oneself there must be first of all, honesty.Complete honesty. If you don’t like what you see change it, to suit yourself and no one else.
Next there must be self-love, for if we do not first love ourselves then we can not give a meaningful love or receive the same from others. Now, in this process we must always keep this first basic honesty. Never try to become as you think others want you. It doesn’t satisfy, but takes precedence over, and therefore destroys, anything you may have accomplished. Then comes caring. To care… those words are so important in every aspect of living. ‘To plant a seed in the earth is to be a mother. To feed a bird on a snowy day is to be a host to God.’
After feeling must come thought and action for without them everything so far accomplished will stagnate. Stagnation is one of the greatest evils of man for it is nothing. Even death is a more complete action for it is a definite end. Stagnation is wandering aimlessly. Becoming foul form lack of action.
Lastly, I think, comes pride. The respect for oneself to do and to be the best. This is the very quality of living. Never mistake it for vanity for this is futile and gets us no where, whereas, pride is a dignity and respect for oneself and one’s achievements. After this you can say, not, ‘I don’t care’ but ‘I don’t care what anyone else thinks,’ for you are now what you want, doing your best for yourself and others whether they know it or not.
This is truly being an individual. Anything less is a facade; anything more is superficial.
Does all this seem familiar? It should. It is the way we all are born and it is what we let ourselves and others destroy with apathy.
Cape Cod, MA.