// Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
In 1947, Dylan Thomas composed a poem in honor of his father, who, at the time, was slowly passing away from old age. His health was deteriorating, his light was dimming, and his end was very much in sight.
Upon seeing this happen, Thomas poured his soul onto a piece of paper and wrote one of the most famous poems to have ever been published. Inspired by the wild heroes of old as he traveled through the Italian countryside, the Welsh poet composed an epic ode to choice.
You may be old, you may be sick, you may be frail —Thomas thought— but please, father, don't ever feel sorry for yourself. The outcome might very well be evident, yes, but it is still your choice to ruthlessly rebel against it. Whatever you do, do not die in passivity.
Half a century later, we could all still learn from the vitality that erupted from his words.
Ask yourself: how often have you given up without a fight? How many ideas, opportunities, relationships, projects and adventures have you passively watched perish from the sideline? How many times have you chosen the martyring safety of feeling sorry for yourself? And how does that make you feel?
Thomas inspires us to rival even the inevitable — for it is through the very act of rebelling that we can truly be alive. So, stop going gentle into your good nights, and rage, rage against the dying of your light.
Painting: The Course of Empire (4)
Artist: Thomas Cole
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