Margaret Alice Second

Gold Star - 16,021 Points (24 January 1961 / South Africa)

Ignoble Achievement - Poem by Margaret Alice Second

Conflicting ideals create chaos in the mind,
on the one hand, nobility of self-discipline
and virtue of patience - I tried to acquire
these virtues when I was small - and -

Found it impossible - on the other hand,
the spontaneity of creative fun, finding
happiness in unbridled activity; how to
reconcile dreams of Biblical discipline

With spontaneity - self-discipline requires the
sacrifice of short-term advantages and lesser
goals for long-term benefits, creating a need
for wisdom to know what are these – yet

Love, unconditional acceptance of what-is, still
is the highest ideal; though subject to insight,
knowing which deeds will benefit others and
which won’t – this requires quiet reflection

Violating the rights of others in serving our loved
ones always has bad effects because the means
simply becomes the end - using ignoble means
to achieve a noble purpose quickly degrades

The achievement to the ignoble also, the saddest
effect of any human deed - and -
where does this leave me?

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, July 23, 2011

Poem Edited: Sunday, July 24, 2011

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