Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Words for Life

When I was a moody, lonely teenager, I memorized several short pieces of poetry that have stayed with me. Today I was reminded of one, when I came across a blog with 12 rules for living by Robert Louis Stevenson. While I can't directly attribute them to RLS, I did rather like them so I'll pass it along.
First, though is one of the poetry pieces that everyone should know, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

And now the 12 Rules to Live By, purportedly by Robert Louis Stevenson.

  1. Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.
  2. Make the best of circumstances. No one has everything and everyone has something of sorrow.
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  4. Don’t let criticism worry you. You can’t please everybody.
  5. Don’t let your neighbors set your standards; be yourself.
  6. Do things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.
  7. Don’t borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than actual ones.
  8. Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish enmities and grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.
  9. Have many interests. If you can’t travel, read about places.
  10. Don’t hold post-mortems or spend time brooding over sorrows and mistakes.
  11. Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.
  12. Keep busy at something. A very busy person never has time to be unhappy.

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