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serenity's quest

… writings by William Anton Lee

[Serenity’s Quest]

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Seeking Serenity to accept
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which need changing, and
Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Seeing Horizons with eagerness
as these offer beautiful things to do,
Pathways through tougher times to
prepare us for crossing bridges, and
Moments of daily opportunity which
provide for optimizing choices.

…adaption of Serenity Prayer


by William Anton Lee
2016 September 26
Serenity’s Quest

…original Serenity Prayer by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr


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[Stones on the Beach]

Walk with me;
Unleash your soul;
Calm your mind;
Embrace life;
Recall indomitable will.

Take care of the moment for these are aspiration’s opportunity;
Passion lived matters, not finality;
Let thoughts guide you, rather not conscience’s fury;
Thoughts shepard our wandering;
Thoughts are.

We think, thus we are;
Be cautious though, not all we think is wise;
Not all we think is best spoken, forever etched on life’s memory stones;
Patience’s Ounce trumps unwise lips;
Measure carefully, mistaking not lethargy for patience.

Continue to grow and evolve;
Control you, no one else;
Be true to your authentic self;
Wake up each morning with a smile and carry it with you;
Check your mirror, looking not into neighbor’s window.

Be bright!
Be happy!
Be congruent!
Be sun through darkness!
Be the change you wish for the world!

Check your thoughts against your words and your acts;
Harmony is clarity;
Clarity is peace;
Turn away people with dirty minds, mouths and feet;
Turn away Malcontents and Lost Souls seeking to do mischief.

Know that no one takes your advantage, if you’ve given them permission;
When Conviction says no, then it is no;
A silent yes or uttered yes are equally a yes;
Whether Ostrich or Coward, these are incapable of love or honor;
Happiness and Affection are the Braves’ prerogative.

See the good in people and help them;
Moments lived will always encounter those new to the journey;
Journeys are a necessity of birth;
Journeys temporarily interrupted are common place;
Remember, it is gentle ways which constructively shape the world.

Evolution is not a single generation’s production;
Wild flowers do quietly and inevitably overtake chaos;
Mother Nature, thus life, is a long game;
Know that an eye for an eye inevitably blinds the world;
Strength in character is far more powerful than brute force.

Humanity is nothing short of soul, mind and body;
Understand that righteousness poisons vital conversation among these;
Live as if thoughts, words and acts were your last;
Understand, your legacy is measured by your humanity;
Fret not though that life seeks to abridge your journey.

Cede to Indomitable Will!
Let your passions rule!
Query, act, learn, and then hit the repeat button!
Know your legacy!
You will live forever!

Stones destined to lie on the beach, we are;
Next generations coming, reaching down to pick us up;
Rounded stones outwardly indistinguishable from the others;
Selected and tossed we find a landing place long out of sight;
Washed ashore we are selected again and again.

Honor birth;
Honor passion;
Bring pleasure to generations of children;
Dedicate verse and art to a friend;
Remind all, each and every day, that humanity is a beautiful invention.


William Anton Lee
2014, June 4 (Original)
2020, June 4 (Revised)

[The Budding of Mutualism]

… Preface

I don’t know if or how this bit I penned today translates for my friends and family. It’s my first attempt at explaining a core shift in my life philosophy which I think I better understand today then at any point before. It’s a quandary for me whether to record it in my Prose and Poetry Blog (Serenity’s Quest) or my Social and Governance blog (Front Porch Connection).


[The Budding of Mutualism]

There is a fundamental shift in thinking and belief needed to evolve humanity out of its ingrained tribalism. People don’t work for other people. People offer their “life, liberty, and happiness (property)” to assist/benefit the entrepreneur or those born accidentally into relative prosperity, whether the latter is real property, wealth, or health. The final product available from human synergy is a blended product which doesn’t exist without human contributions. We today, across the world, give far too much credit to the architect, engineer, contractor, and “owners” and not near enough to the hands-on builders. Our present human social order and associated psychology and economies are a shade off of slavery, as in long term indentured servitude. It’s no wonder with that foundation law makers and judges see the modern-day Lords as a special class of people owed deference. The on the ground facts are these protected classes of people, these cultural elites, can do nothing to natural conclusion on their own. Someday we’ll better understand the pure genius of the Enlightenment philosophers and seize our destiny as truly equals among equals. This isn’t a state driven enterprise, this is us as individuals having the courage to say barbarism of any degree must end to allow for human evolution to set the stage for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Mutualism requires no State; it does require that the least among us is a reasoned part of the whole and that contributions given their just appreciation and reward. Parity is measured in outcomes, and excused away by efforts and best intent.


[The Budding of Mutualism]
By William Anton Lee
2017, October 12

…Desiderata

 


Go placidly amid the noise and the 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 to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


by Max Ehrmann
1927


In fond memory of John McMaster.

 

 

[Humility of Purpose]

IMG_2686When humanity discovers it blinded the entire world whether in retribution or righteousness, questioning the many forms our Cultures have for an “eye for an eye” will be too late. I’m myself am tempted by provocation and killing to allow for me to anger; thus I beg Self to seek a better understanding because I know anger to cause self-inflicted blindness. It is that blindness perpetuates blindness and revelation after blindness is a sullied accomplishment, if that.

I seek to know why; and when revelation isn’t prompt to guide myself to patience, to inner peace while waiting. My wish is that in time experience and insight will teach me, teach the world that we are far better off embracing that which we do not know, fearing only death before clarity, and valuing life such that every human has the time to gain understanding rather than succumbing to anger whether that emotion comes from disappointment, delusion, or witnessing outright evil.

Peace and love are more than watch-words, these are core to revelation. Not always present and all too easy to forget in the face of Mother Nature’s random turns and Life’s beguiling days, these two siblings are Humanity’s salvation. It’s apparent that salvation isn’t necessarily guaranteed to be an individual’s earthly utopia; rather it seems to be the sum of the parts of a generational evolution. In this sense humility of purpose keeps us from confusing our efforts and outcomes with the finality of humanity. We are part of a greater whole.

We are all leaders who by our action either better the world or leave it as we found it. My challenge here is an Ask; please do not blind yourself or your fellows knowing that enlightenment and immortality for all is without a doubt a group effort. Go in peace to love the world starting with yourself. Whether by prayer, meditation, or sheer personal-will please put anger and mistrust away. Understand that the missteps call the worse of these sins if you will, are not yours, while overcoming these and their collective pain is yours to do, to collaborate on with fellows, and to not repeat.

My promise to family, friends, and humanity is that I will forever seek to be humble in purpose and grand in outcome. I hope for my challenges not to overwhelm me and that randomness be kind to me. Absent the latter, let there be enough strength in conviction to save me from blindness through my own cause.

[Humility of Purpose]
William Anton Lee
2017, October 2

[Ode to Arianna]

Chase destiny.
From the crucible comes authority.
Your voice sculpts passages.

No doubt.
There is purpose.
Your wounds are landmarks.

Bright are your words.
Secure in your arms we feel the grasp of your hands.
Lead the way.

Be heard.
Take all the time needed.
Your destiny, like your smile begs us to believe.

Take us with you.
We are your companions.
Walk, run, no matter, love and passion ensures our bond.


[Ode to Arianna]
William Anton Lee
2017, August 30


…inspired by and written about and for an amazing human being, Arianna Helena Faro

 

[The Art of Graciousness]

The ease of graciousness, like sustainable crops, grows best on carefully tended foundations.  So it is that we awaken looking to smile.  Daily efforts are measured by that last look into the bathroom mirror as we say goodnight.

It’s notable that morning’s ease is so often absent when the night’s pace and exhaustion skips last looks.  No, the ghosts are not repentant or necessarily quiet upon nightly reminders. They are though left to wonder how it is that each morning brings ease, if not a refreshing burst of innocence.

The journey, whether by day or night, is a burden; such is Mother Nature.  Memories’ constructed paintings!  Hearts’ tailored emotions!  Movements’ mastered shadows!  These shape art from burdens, but it’s graciousness that is transformative.

Graciousness makes life an art form worthy of and a muse to masterpieces.


[The Art of Graciousness]
William Anton Lee
2017, May 31


… inspired by Mr. Jeff Paul who retired this year from teaching and directing Musical Theater (and so much more) at the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA).

OCSA is an awesome, 30-year, non-profit public charter school in Santa Ana, California, serving kids from 7th grade to 12th grade who are passionate about being educated in and living their dreams in the arts while garnering a premier academic education and pursuing their life passions. OCSA is the founding entity for the California School of the Arts movement.

…about Psychoanalyst, Pharisee, Judge, Jury, Executioner

Feedback Welcome


I’m a skeptic. I work to resist “trust me” pleas. I will do homework. I will write. I will speak. I will call. I will vote. I will honor constructive advocacy. I will remember we are all well-meaning neighbors. I will remember perception is reality. I acknowledge we may not agree. I will do my level best to influence perception when it is destined to bring harm, regardless even if unintended harm.

I don’t assume courage or consensus, ours or others. I strive to be nonviolent in heart, spirit, mind, and action. I don’t expect everyone to be similarly predisposed. I am, however, willing in the latter case to sacrifice, to face anger while working to further the establishment of common ground. Descent is never out of the realm of possibilities when being asked, coerced, or ordered to not care.

Finding me being psychoanalyst, Pharisee, judge, jury and/or executioner, please take me to task. It’s the height of bigotry to put systemic variables and ancestral trappings on individuals who seek common ground and value parity. Speak up. Teach. Appreciate. Love.

I don’t favor prejudice, stereotype, characterization, or correlation. These I distinguish from perception which is founded in very real life experiences which must differ from person to person and community to community. These are the product of accidents of birth and the very real human endeavor of enculturation; otherwise, survival.

Valuing parity, inequity is slavery which is indisputably harmful. Solutions to inequity are not forwarded by institutions of inequity. Bringing everyone to immediate parity by lifting the disadvantage while holding the balance steady is equity. Do no harm. Love. Harm begets harm. Perceptions are not addressable when faced or fraught with inequity, anger or hate. Deliberate and delicate advocacy advanced via peaceful means takes courage and often sacrifice. Certainly, smartly resist while gathering in those who may not have lived your life or survived other cultural realities.

Disenfranchisement as a collective hurdle has no scales. I do not favor one inequity over another. To lift all, we lift the one. To lift the one, we lift all. Faced with the many inequities dispatch many not seeking false solace that those in front of you are entitled to all attention. Better yet understand that what is in front of you is rarely the only, the isolated. Dispatch the many while you take ownership of that which you face or find someone equally committed to stand in your stead while you seek and then take ownership of the balance.

Be a skeptic. Resist “trust me” pleas. Do homework. Write. Speak. Call. Vote. Advocate. Change perceptions which belie reality having challenged your own reality. After all of this, please understand that we may not agree at moments in time because I likely move at a different pace; having nothing to do with intent, bias or malice.


William Anton Lee
…about Psychoanalyst, Pharisee, Judge, Jury, Executioner
2017, January 17

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[brick staircases, open spaces & old walls]

brick staircase.jpgSitting to my side are bricks that are being laid in a staircase. A beautiful collection of colors and compositions. Laying each of these one at a time because I have only two hands. Laying each as these are randomly presented.

I will not sift through bricks looking for common color or composition because the final staircase will be a mosaic. When the bricks are no longer random in color and composition I will stop laying bricks until I find a supplier that better understands that I do not value patchwork quilts.

This is a mosaic.

I do not seek to reconstruct exclusively with buckets of old bricks resulting in tapestries of common clay or stones. I’m committed to the beauty and strength of inclusiveness and diversity. This is restorative. This is progressive. This is living art.

Certainly, old bricks and new bricks will be placed side by side without regard to age, although there are more old bricks than new. It matters not which walls the used bricks came from. It only matters that these have the strength and shape fitting of a newly constructed staircase and that all are equally accessible to my hands.

Assembling with new bricks is usually easier. Easy is not on the table. Searching for, and giving priority to, used bricks, including breaking these out of old walls long known to be barriers and not pathways which are infinitely more restorative. While the latter requires diligence it also requires patience as most old walls are of common color and composition.

Wishing staircases be constructed overnight belies the process of discovery, careful disassembly, and conscious redistribution. Recall we are not just building staircases, we are tearing down old walls with an eye to opening spaces once guarding exclusive gardens and resting places. I’m not alone. There are more than my two hands. There is more than one staircase.

Help me discover. Help me disassemble barriers . Help me redistribute old bricks of common color and composition. Encourage my dreams of mosaics. If not, remain respectively silent while believers build beautiful brick staircases. Remain silent as you walk into open spaces and remember the old walls that once hid these spaces. Grieve for yourself because what was once is no more and yet you still find comfort in searching for weathered remnants of old walls.


[brick staircases, open spaces and old walls]
by William Anton Lee
January 27, 2017

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serenity's quest

... writings by William Anton Lee

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