Archive for the ‘Thought of the Day’ Category

I recently ran across the following article about making poetry a spiritual practice:

The entire article is well worth the reading, but the first way of the thirteen really rung some bells for me. (I hope they don’t mind I repost)

1. Cultivate Uselessness. Poetry and spiritual life overlap – if they are genuine, neither are undertaken for any kind of worldly advantage, prestige or use. Much of our life is spent in the acquisitive mode, in Wordsworth’s “getting and spending” – we need to butter our parsnips somehow – but the value of poetry is in its antithesis: the appreciative mode. Yes, we need to buy things and earn money, but poets need to stake their claim in uselessness – in non-utilitarian appreciation. Our primary mode of being should be one of appreciation. We should just stand back and enjoy it all – relate to life not for what it can give us but for its own sake. Within this larger uselessness, we’ll need to work to pay the bills and feed the cat, but our real work is appreciation. This implies an element of asceticism. We need to live simply with as few distractions as possible so that we can get on with the real business of poetry.


I have never heard this before, but I realized that this “appreciative mode” is where I feel most Shea, it’s where I escape to – but it is also where I experience the most guilt and “ought-to’s” and ought-not’s”. I just want to stand and pause for a moment and tell you I am useless here, by design.

I’ve heard it said that you should never choose your heroes from among the living – that way they never have the opportunity to disenchant you. This man died just a couple of years ago and the more I learn about him the more he becomes my hero. He lived what he believed and softly touched thousands of lives and made us believe we are special.

The thought of the day comes from Mr. Rogers.
As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has—or ever will have—something inside that is unique to all time.
It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.

~ Fred McFeely Rogers (1928-2003)