Monday, November 26, 2012

Apropo, is it not?

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain. 

-The interesting note about this poem is the fact that Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote it in 1883. In 1885 a writer by the name of John Joyce stole it -word for word- and published it in his own book. Ella demanded he stop, offering $5,000 if he could prove it was his own. He refused and pimped it as his own for the rest of his life. Atypical behavior for those days, yet I will be the one to remind you, it's par for the course in 2012. 

People steal from you your ideas, your money, your soul if you aren't careful. Even when you call them on their thievery they will refuse to acknowledge the theft, nor your pain at doing so. It's nothing to them if they leave you naked, without food or hope as long as they get theirs. Witness the mobs of people who crowd the stores on Thanksgiving weekend for the want of a bargain on cheaply-made Chinese crap.  Crap they will give as gifts to those they propose to love. Recipients will then throw out that cheaply-made Chinese crap when it breaks, return it for money or throw it on a pile of other cheaply-made Chinese crap. 

But oh, we must abandon our warm beds and stand in line at stores for this stuff.  They, I should say.  I refuse to join this utter madness. It's stupid, pedantic and oh so apropo: The poster children for what is more important in people's lives today: 'Stuff" over others.

Greed's become the currency of the realm.

If it means that I am not part of this Greed Crowd, I would prefer to stand alone, weeping or laughing.  My currency is different than 99% of this world. 

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