The Bit That Comes Before The Cliche Meme About Having Only One Life

by | Jan 16, 2024 | Thought Piece Series | 0 comments

You’ve seen this meme about only having one life, I know you have. It’s quoted so often. But have you read the whole poem that it comes from?

Sometimes TLDR means you miss out.

Even if poetry isn’t really your thing take a minute and treat yourself.

This is like getting the whole damn cake, not just the cherry on top.

It’s a beautiful poem by Mario de Andrade (San Paolo 1893-1945) Poet, novelist, essayist and musicologist.

One of the founders of Brazilian modernism.

My Soul Has A Hat

I counted my years
& realized that I have.
Less time to live by, 
Than I have lived so far.

I feel like a child who won a pack of candies: at first he ate them with pleasure 
But when he realized that there was little left, he began to taste them intensely

I have no time for endless meetings
where the statutes, rules, procedures & internal regulations are discussed, 
knowing that nothing will be done.

I no longer have the patience 
To stand absurd people who,
despite their chronological age,
have not grown up.

My time is too short: 
I want the essence, 
my spirit is in a hurry. 
I do not have much candy
In the package anymore.

I want to live next to humans, 
very realistic people who know
How to laugh at their mistakes,
Who are not inflated by their own triumphs 
& who take responsibility for their actions.
In this way, human dignity is defended 
and we live in truth and honesty.

It is the essentials that make life useful.
I want to surround myself with people
who know how to touch the hearts of those whom hard strokes of life
have learned to grow with sweet touches of the soul.

Yes, I’m in a hurry.
I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give.
I do not intend to waste any of the remaining desserts.

I am sure they will be exquisite, 
much more than those eaten so far.
My goal is to reach the end satisfied 
and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.

We have two lives
& the second begins when you realize you only have one.

This is part of my Thought Piece Series, where I explore topics related to leadership and provide both answers and questions. My intention is to start meaningful conversations that help us move forward. Want to connect? Click here.

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