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STOIC POETRY | Walking the shore with seashells in my hand

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

I have such a small and precious set of values - objectives and principles to guide my life. So very few. Each one is precious to me, as an object and guide to better living. I found these along the way of life, ideas begun with someone else long dead, passed to me through example and word of mouth down time. I found these precious things laying about within the books I have read, and the admired actions of others which I have seen, and with the consequent ideas I then made my own with perhaps just a little repair, polish and shine. And now I carry these small values with me always, like a worthless, precious treasure clasped close within the mind, as like a handful of seashells found while walking along the beach. And I demonstrate these things to others when I can, carefully, through careful words, considered actions, and especially my willful and decided inaction - as what I choose not to do is often the greatest illustration of what I hold most dear.

Values are like shells collected at the shore Reflective of preference, And want, And carried in our hand While walking 'till sundown Dropped at last, With the arrival of night Or possibly passed... To those who will walk another day

As a father, I have tried to carefully show my grown child these things which I have found and now carry. I have shown her these by the way in which I walk, and how I talk, and also when I neither walk or talk, and instead simply allow my eyes to express my considered, willful effort and intent. And if I have done these things well, then maybe she now carries some of these small treasures too, like a handful of her own found shells by the sea. Maybe she knows a little better now how to step well where the stepping is difficult or unclear, or how to say more clearly what might be most helpful to be said...or when to remain quiet, when she understands that silence alone is sometimes simply enough.


My name is Kurt Bell.

You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.

Be safe... But not too safe.

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