Brain Food #516


Thoughts of the day

Good morning, and happy Friday.

Yesterday, I wrote of amor fati. Accepting that things could not have happened differently can be a useful mental weapon to help battle through life, enabling us to look towards the future, what is still within our control to affect and shape.

Similarly, ‘if’ may be one of the dangerous words in the English language. ‘If’ makes us wonder, think of hypothetical scenarios, it removes us from the present and propels us into the past, away from reality, often leading to dissatisfaction, unhappiness with ourselves, and where we are today.

Ifs imply regrets, even bitterness.

The following poem by E. E. Cummings is a lighthearted take on ‘if’, choosing to accept, and even celebrate the inevitabilities of oneself.


If freckles were lovely, and day was night,
And measles were nice and a lie warn’t a lie,
Life would be delight,—
But things couldn’t go right
For in such a sad plight
I wouldn’t be I.

If earth was heaven and now was hence,
And past was present, and false was true,
There might be some sense
But I’d be in suspense
For on such a pretense
You wouldn’t be you.

If fear was plucky, and globes were square,
And dirt was cleanly and tears were glee
Things would seem fair,—
Yet they’d all despair,
For if here was there
We wouldn’t be we.

E.E. Cummings

If you were forwarded this email and you'd like to receive more, you can sign up and receive it daily in your inbox.

And if you love Brain Food and want the world to know about it, feel free to share it with them.

Share Brain Food

If you have any questions, thoughts, ideas you'd like to share, just hit reply.

Read longer Brain Food musings on Medium.