Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jo's Chicken Soup

I was going through my old emails this morning looking for something (must learn how to manage my inbox sometime...) and came across this addition to my inner list of motivational writings:
"How do I stay optimistic? I realize first the issues I face are miniscule to the good I can do. How do I get inspired to face intransigence, or laziness, or ineptitude? I look right past them at the real goal, and those who really need me:

Block me, and I will go around you. Build a wall, and I will build a door. Lock the door and I will break a window. And if I don’t have have a leader to inspire me, I will lead. If I don’t have a team that will support me, I will recruit a team from beyond the organizational boundaries - every policy has a loophole, every system has a hidden reward.”
The last bit is from Shakespeare - Henry V’s St. Crispen’s Day Speech - and it must have really struck a cord with me at some point in recent months when we were defending the Library funding in the LTCCP process. I don't know who I'm quoting in the top bit - it wafted through my blog aggregator, but it links back to a terrific site I'd forgotten about: The Participatory Librarianship Starter Kit (which on reflection, may have been the real reason I saved the quote ..) anyway, great site worth looking at.

Back to me ... The Desiderata is an oldie but a goodie:
"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit".
And yes I know its corny but its not bad. I picked up a new one on Twitter a few weeks ago:
"If you are right you don't need a defence, if you are wrong their is no defence".
And they all kind of hearken back to George Eliot's concept of a "Creed of Humanity" explored so beautifully in Silas Marner (must reread that too).

And to finish, a motivational warning from Olive Shrieiner's The Story of an African farm:
"He mounted the grey mare and rode off. The dog watched his retreat with cynical satisfaction; but his master lay on the ground with his head on his arms in the sand, and the little wheels and chips of wood lay on the ground around him. The dog jumped on to his back and snapped at the black curls, till, finding that no notice was taken, he walked off to play with a black beetle. The beetle was hard at work trying to roll home a great ball of dung it had been collecting all the morning: but Doss broke the ball, and ate the beetle's hind legs, and then bit off its head. And it was all play, and no one could tell what it had lived and worked for. A striving, and a striving, and an ending in nothing."
I have never forgotten the 'striving, striving and an ending in nothing bit' and think its about recognizing when you are pushing shit uphill, or as our guest speaker in the INFO560 class on Saturday more eloquently phrased it: Is it worth doing?

No comments: