Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ode to "The Unknown Citizen"

Tonight I randomly had a mood hit me to read some poetry. I've always enjoyed reading it and also a loooong time ago used to write it some (Thinking of getting back to this...we shall see).

Below is one of my favorite poems, one that I studied in depth and wrote an analysis paper on in a Lit class in college. I believe it speaks volumes. It is soooo important to be a good person, to do what's right, to be a great citizen, etc... BUT, we must not stop there.

Be the BEST you that you can be. You're not on this planet to blend in with the crowd. God made each of us with special giftings and abilities we need to do whatever it is God has specifically placed each of us here to do. Life should be an adventure, not a daily rerun!

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more ABUNDANTLY. ~John 10:10

The Unknown Citizen
by W. H. Auden

(To JS/07 M 378
This Marble Monument
Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Instalment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace: when there was war, he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

A few quotes I thought went well with this...
The death of someone we know always reminds us that we are still alive - perhaps for some purpose which we ought to re-examine. ~Mignon McLaughlin

Life is short, God's way of encouraging a bit of focus. ~Robert Brault

Let us endeavor to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. ~Mark Twain

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice. ~Indian Saying

Every man dies. Not every man really lives. ~Braveheart

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. ~Abraham Lincoln

And, in conclusion, one of my favorite passages of scripture :-):
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? ~1 Cor. 15:54-55

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