Saturday, March 12, 2011

For Lent, Write Letters Instead

What if, instead of giving something up for Lent, we pledge to do the things we've neglected?  Every week our chuch sends out an update that includes a "reflection," which is often a poem.  The reflections are usually incredibly profound and thought-provoking.  This week's reflection was especially so, and humorous, too.   

Portrait of the Artist as a Prematurely Old Man
by Ogden Nash

It is common knowledge to every schoolboy and even every Bachelor of Arts,
That all sin is divided into two parts.

One kind of sin is called a sin of commission, and that is very important,
And it is what you are doing when you are doing something you ortant,
And the other kind of sin is just the opposite and is called a sin of
omission and is equally bad in the eyes of all right-thinking people,
from Billy Sunday to Buddha,
And it consists of not having done something you shuddha.

I might as well give you my opinion of these two kinds of sin as long as, in
a way, against each other we are pitting them,
And that is, don't bother your head about sins of commission because however
sinful, they must at least be fun or else you wouldn't be committing

It is the sin of omission, the second kind of sin,
That lays eggs under your skin.
The way you get really painfully bitten
Is by the insurance you haven't taken out and the checks you haven't added up
the stubs of and the appointments you haven't kept and the bills you
haven't paid and the letters you haven't written.
Also, about sins of omission there is one particularly painful lack of
Namely, it isn't as though it had been a riotous red-letter day or night every
 time you neglected to do your duty;
You didn't get a wicked forbidden thrill
Every time you let a policy lapse or forgot to pay a bill;
You didn't slap the lads in the tavern on the back and loudly cry Whee,
Let's all fail to write just one more letter before we go home, and this
 round of unwritten letters is on me.

No, you never get any fun
Out of things you haven't done,
But they are the things that I do not like to be amid,
Because the suitable things you didn't do give you a lot more trouble than
the unsuitable things you did.

The moral is that it is probably better not to sin at all, but if some kind
of sin you must be pursuing,
Well, remember to do it by doing rather than by not doing.


tut-tut said...

We'd all be happier healthier if we went to the mailbox and found, on a regular basis, real mail in real handwriting!

meemsnyc said...

Writing letters is a great idea. It's a lost art, now that we have email and text! I love getting handwritten mail!

AshKuku said...

Since I have started making cards, I have started sending them across to peeps where I write a few lines & that makes me feel connected..... Truly soulful!!!!


Carol said...

A great and thoughtful idea! To do good rather than to not do. Writing letters seems like a truly good thing to do.

TALON said...

I love that idea - doing something neglected.

I have a friend (for over 30 years) with who I regularly exchange letters because we both love getting real mail. :)

Skeeter said...

What a great Idea! Hand written letters are so wonderful. Today’s world of computers, we rarely see hand written letters any more...