Following Polycarp, Spritle gets deep. (bring the Fritos)

Well, it’s been nine months and 999 posts. I hope I’ve answered some questions, fought some ignorance and maybe even made some people smile. As I approached this, my 1000th post, I recalledPolycarp’s thread for his 4000th post. Following his example, I wanted to make this post somewhat meaningful, at least to me. Here’s my best shot.
There have been a few threads in the past month or so regarding personal mottos and the like. I wanted to take a moment to discuss some of my thoughts on matters of such.

Do the right thing.

It’s not a novel concept. Shakespeare hinted along these lines; so did T. S. Eliot. Heck, so did Spike Lee.

Shakespeare addressed this with “this above all: to thine own self be true” in Hamlet, Act I, Scene iii. Of course, he meant compromising your principles, which sort of follows this, provided your principles are “right”. In that this was Polonius talking to Laertes, the principles were those of a noble.

However, doing the right thing is not as easy as it might seem. Attempts, while not lacking in desire, are often sidetracked with rage, revenge, jealousy and other confounding factors. It is easy to convince ourselves that we should be nice to our adversary because we may need to ask a favor of him later. The urge to tell a child the truth about an ex-spouse may be incredibly strong, especially if that ex-spouse is less than honest with that child. How many people give to charities or do volunteer work for the recognition? This is not in the spirit of doing the right thing. I’d like to amend this little saying to read:

Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

I am a firm believer in this. I’m not the only one. T. S. Eliot in Murder in the Cathedral has a character state, “The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right thing for the wrong reason.” Only when we do the right thing for the right reason are we being true to “thine own selves”. Be civil to your adversary because it is the right thing to do; it may even change the way they view you. Give because it’s the right thing to do; it is much more fulfilling that way. It is at this time that we are happiest.

Certainly you have done something good for the right reasons. It might have been when you found a baby bird under its nest. Fearing that the mother would not touch it if you touched it, you coaxed it onto a stick and gently placed it back in the nest. This was done purely for the bird’s benefit; no pictures were taken; no newspaper stories were written about you.

Maybe it was when you found that plastic bag on the side of the road when you were walking and used to hold all the subsequent trash you picked up. There was no trophy, no sign along that stretch of road with your name on it.

Maybe it was when your friend called you at 2:00 am crying and you stayed up 2 hours on a weeknight just listening. You didn’t do it because one day you might be calling her at 2:00 am; you did it because you truly care about the health and happiness of another person. You did the right thing, and did it because it was the right thing to do.

This is when we are truly happy. We are giving of ourselves without selfishness. We are giving without taking – sowing without expectation of reaping. This is when we are making a positive difference. This is when we are helping the world along in the right direction.

So I finish this post. I hope I presented something for you to think about – sort of “food for thought”. And, by your leave, I’ll stick around for at least 1000 more.


Spritle, I formally, and as an unelected and unselected member of the SDMB, invite you to stay for another 1000… at which time we will vote and decide whether you should be allowed to stay any longer!

Of course I, and the other members of the secret board are always open to bribes/hookers/etc. … do as you see fit.

Thanks. I wasn’t aware posting was by permission only; I’ll be more respectful in the future. :wink:

Anyone who quotes Eliot is ok by me to hang around–while I forget so much of what I read, there’s a bunch of his lines that bump around in my head and periodically recite themselves unbidden (including “do the right thing for the wrong reason”):

“And all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

“I have seen the eternal footman hold my coat and snicker.”

“I grow old, I grow old. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.”

Congrats on a nice 1000th post.

Humble, reading your post reminded me of a song by Crash Test Dummies called “Afternoons and Coffeespoons” on the God Shuffled His Feet album. The song laments growing older and the fears that go along with it. Brad Roberts (lead singer) is uneasy that

“Afternoons will be measured out [and] measured with coffeespoons and T. S. Eliot.”

Anyway, just thought you might like to know that.

Astroboy14, I’m collecting a bunch of barbs and hooks like you said. Wait, lemme read that again. I’l send them along to the members, but since it’s a secret, I don’t know how to address them. How 'bout if I just send them all to you and let you take care of it?

Dangit! That’s BRIBES and HOOKERS**!!

Memebers of the secret board: spritle is skating on thin ice!


Ooops! Damn!

Right. Bries it is. I first wondered what you were going to do with all the cheese and hookers, but I used my imagination.

Mmmm… soft cheese.

[sub]The serious nature of my OP seems entirely shot to hell.[sub]

This is really cool–Prufrock is a poem that just keeps on giving. It never fails to amaze me that even pop culture gets into the eternal discussions and adds its voice to the cross-referential soup. I live for those moments when I finally get a reference in an unexpected place. The day I stop being surprised by this stuff will be a sad day.

There–now I can put my 200th post in a thread about Eliot. I’m geeked!:slight_smile:

I read Murder in the Cathedral when I was 15, and have loved T.S. Eliot ever since.

This one’s actually Julian of Norwich. But it’s still a great quote. :slight_smile:

OK, I know we’re getting away from my OP, and this isn’t really a “post-count party” - even though I suggested that people bring snacks, but I must say that I’m really excited.

There are some ‘x00’ posts here:

Spritle 10-00
Humble Servant 2-00
RTFirefly 32-00 (or so his post count currently states)

It should be known that RTFirefly has always had my respect, and I’ve seen nothing but good from Humble Servant. Having you “devote” double-0 posts here is way cool.

Oooh, that makes it even cooler. How’s about giving me a quick edjumacation on Old Julian and why Eliot ripped him off…er, gave him homage? Eliot’s lines come right at the end of The Four Quartets.

Spritle, honey, I’m honored to be in your company here. Now pass those fritos–I’m gonna dip 'em in the brie and eat 'em with toast and tea.

…or maybe, if I dare, a peach…

In the chat rooms, the women come and go/
Talking of Leo Di Caprio…


::bows deeply in homage to jr8’s wit::

::hands jr8the peach::



::tips his hat to the ever-erudite Spritle.

[sub] . . . decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.[/sub]

Doo-dah! Doo-dah! :wink:

[sub]One could also argue, of course, that Polonius’ famous advice to Laertes may be the advice of a noble, but it’s also the advice of a pushy, addled noble. But then, it’s hard to argue with “to thine own self be true”…[/sub]

OK, since RTFirefly, never came back to edjumacate me about old Julian of Norwich, I had to do the doper thing and go and find out for myself. Julian was of course a she. After a near-death experience in the 1370s, she wrote down her visions in Revelations of Divine Love, later revised, and lived out her life as an achoress (hermit) in a hut. Her “all shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well,” was apparently referring to the expiation of sin through Christ’s death. Four Quartets is one of Eliot’s latest works, written at a a time when he was exploring his own beliefs and horrifying his early critics who had loved his modernist sensibilities. The best interpretation I have for Eliot’s meaning (without cheating and seeing if there is a critically definitive answer) is that even though Eliot is not sure what he believes or is able to believe, that this too can be made well in whatever the reality of God turns out to be because he has done the right thing by doing his best to try to understand…

bringing us right back to Shakespeare’s/Spike Lee’s “do the right thing…”

thus proving yet again that the interconnectedness of all things[sup]TM[/sup] is not to be messed with…

Doo-dah! Doo-dah!:wink:

Anyone who can discuss T. S. Eliot intelligently is more than worthy of worship in my book.

Happy 1000, Spritle, and many more.

(Even if they’re not all about Eliot.)