Monday, November 29, 2010

On why we should be generous

Those who still adhere to an older business model are puzzled by those of us who engage in the various social spaces with people who, in effect, are our competition. Happily, we advise each other on the best way to tackle this or that problem, and we take uncomplicated pleasure in the knowledge that we have helped one another.

Today, courtesy of a new Twitter follower, Indira Balki, I was reminded of this poem which reflects much of this attitude:

One Star Fell and Another by Conrad Aitken

One star fell and another as we walked.
Lifting his hand towards the west, he said–
–How prodigal that sky is of its stars!
They fall and fall, and still the sky is sky.
Two more have gone, but heaven is heaven still.

Then let us not be precious of our thought,
Nor of our words, nor hoard them up as though
We thought our minds a heaven which might change
And lose its virtue, when the word had fallen.
Let us be prodigal, as heaven is:
Lose what we lose, and give what we may give,–
Ourselves are still the same. Lost you a planet–?
Is Saturn gone? Then let him take his rings
Into the Limbo of forgotten things.

O little foplings of the pride of mind,
Who wrap the phrase in lavender, and keep it
In order to display it: and you, who save our loves
As if we had not worlds of love enough–!

Let us be reckless of our words and worlds,
And spend them freely as the tree his leaves;
And give them where the giving is most blest.
What should we save them for,–a night of frost? . . .
All lost for nothing, and ourselves a ghost.
I have nothing to add to that.

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