2023 Grateful 44: Own the day

I needed this. Perhaps you do, too. Own the day.

“Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”
The words were written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, a name that hovers in my subconscious but it’s not one that I could dress with any substance. I had to look him up.
An American essayist, poet, and popular philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) began his career as a Unitarian minister in Boston, but achieved worldwide fame as a lecturer and the author of such essays as “Self-Reliance,” “History,” “The Over-Soul,” and “Fate.” Drawing on English and German Romanticism, Neoplatonism, Kantianism, and Hinduism, Emerson developed a metaphysics of process, an epistemology of moods, and an “existentialist” ethics of self-improvement. He influenced generations of Americans, from his friend Henry David Thoreau to John Dewey, and in Europe, Friedrich Nietzsche, who takes up such Emersonian themes as power, fate, the uses of poetry and history, and the critique of Christianity.
Look at that mouthful of words! Having made a half-hearted attempt to study philosophy by taking an evening class during my year in Oxford, I’m still failing to get a grasp of this isms. Filtering through the high falutin’ language, I get that he believed that life was a process, that knowledge came from our moods, and that we should work on improving ourselves.
He left behind him a legacy of solid thoughts that resonate with me right now. Perhaps he’s been saving himself for me until I needed him most. One, in particular, is appropriate for this series:
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Nice to meet you, Waldo. Thanks for reminding me to own the day.

One Response

Talk to me...

%d bloggers like this: