I have always liked this poem by poet Wislawa Szymborska.
Wisława Szymborska-Włodek (2 July 1923 – 1 February 2012) was a Polish poet, essayist, and translator. She was described as a “Mozart of Poetry.” She was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature “for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality.”
In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself
By Wislawa Szymborska
The buzzard never says it is to blame.
The panther wouldn’t know what scruples mean.
When the piranha strikes, it feels no shame.
If snakes had hands, they’d claim their hands were clean.
A jackal doesn’t understand remorse.
Lions and lice don’t waver in their course.
Why should they, when they know they’re right?
Though hearts of killer whales may weigh a ton,
In every other way they’re light.
On this third planet of the sun
Among the signs of bestiality
A clear conscience is Number One.
Preferring regret to bestiality, I will accept the moments that my conscience is not always clear and that it is okay, from time to time, to feel bad about yourself.
[As long as you don’t make a habit of it.]
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Perfect day for this post, since everything I’ve done is wrong so far!!!
It’s right to be wrong, if that makes sense.
Humans, like most other species, do what we do in order to survive. Sometimes those decisions make us ‘feel bad’ about ourselves, but ultimately it’s just who (or what) we are. Besides, life’s too short to regret the things we’ve already done!
I like your attitude.
And by ‘like your attitude,’ I mean I dislike your attitude. If I have no regrets and no dislikes, how would I succeed as a curmudgeon?
I think curmudgeonry (curmudgeoness?) is genetic. You’re born with it and it intensifies as you age (my father was definitely a curmudgeon and my husband has turned into one in the last few years). To me a curmudgeon simply sees things as they really are! Long live curmudgeons!
I agree wholeheartedly with that attitude!
Feeling bad is better than knowing you should feel bad, but you don’t.
Funny, I was just thinking about the whole “animals are smarter than I am” thing the other day, as I beat myself up over something that wasn’t really my fault. ‘Scuse me while I go out and bring down a gazelle for lunch…
If you get a lion to do it, your conscience will remain unfazed.
Good point. I’m a Leo, though, so I’m going to say “close enough”. 🙂
Are you a lion or a louse?
Depends on whether I’m yelling or being yelled at on that day.