Feeding my soul with Shel Silverstein’s works

Shel Silverstein intrigues me. His books, like the best children’s books, have a deep wisdom in them that makes me pause and wonder. The Giving Tree makes me aware of the dangers of selfless giving; The Missing Piece teaches me that no else else can be the missing piece in our soul, that only we are responsible for filling the void in us (with sunflowers, sunshine, sunsets, starry skies, some art, and maybe some wine?), and the book of poetry, Falling Up has little treasures that I absorb, such as the dangers of being too hard on yourself. Another Falling Up ditty “Mirror Mirror” I read recently teaches me the necessary limits of truth telling.

Queen: Mirror, mirror on the wall,

Who is the fairest of them all?

Mirror: Snow White, Snow White, Snow White—

I’ve told you a million times tonight.

Queen: Mirror, mirror on the wall,

What would happen if I let you fall?

You’d shatter to bits with a clang and a crash,

Your glass would be splintered—swept out with the trash,

Your frame would be bent, lying here on the floor—

Mirror: Hey…go ahead, ask me just once more.

Queen: Mirror, mirror on the wall,

Who is the fairest of them all?

Mirror: You—you—It’s true,

The fairest of all is you—you—you.

(Whew!)

mirror

This lesson will seem rather obvious to the pragmatists of the world, but for the more idealistic, this can be a source of strain. The writing on the wall is clear: self-protection trumps truth-telling. There’s plenty of time for truth-telling, but getting yourself out of harm’s way is the first step.

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Have an idealist in your life? They might enjoy reading this. 🙂

You May Also Like
The Many Layers of the Giving Tree
The Right Way to Give–A lesson by Adam Grant and Dr. Seuss
Are you harder on yourself…or on others?

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