Today is AGGIE MUSTER. Aggies the world over give some time today to remember those who didn’t make it through the last year. So it’s a day that prompts reflection. It’s a day that ends with “Silver Taps,” a quiet, respect-filled ceremony that reminds us of our fallen. It’s a time for thinking as the trumpet notes tug at your heart and make you pause. The following five thoughts have made me pause for many decades now. I gift them to you.
“Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.”
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Yesterday is History,
’tis so far away —
yesterday is Poetry,
’tis Philosophy —
Yesterday is Mystery —
Where it is today —
While we shrewdly speculate
Flutter both away
I have to live with myself, and so
I must be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able, as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye.
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun,
And hate myself for things I have done.
I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself, as I come and go,
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of a man I really am;
I don’t want to dress up myself in shame.
I want to go out with my head erect,
I want to deserve all men’s respect;
But here in the struggle for fame and self
I want to be able to like myself
I don’t want to look at myself and know
That I’m bluster and bluff, an empty show.
I can never hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see.
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself, and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.
Edgar A. Guest
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
“Silver Taps” Lithograph by Benjamin Knox
Originally posted for Muster 2009.