With a pocketful of medicine,
And an optimistic air,
I set out to cure the world.
I had no idea, when I first set out,
Just how far my journey would take me.
I had dreams of dragons,
Heroic battles, and the vast expanse
Of the seemingly endless sea
Racing through my mind.
My friends, not knowing the true
Reason for my adventurous ways,
At first tried to discourage me;
Convincing me that to help myself;
To put myself above all others,
Would be, if not nobler,
Then at least more sensible.
Ah! My friends! Did you not realise,
That you were just encouraging
My foolish deeds more so?
For me, true happiness lies
In the smiles of others, and
The joys I inspire.
I find no pride in accomplishing
Deeds that fulfill other needs;
Diplomas and job offers
Sail over my head, and I
Pay them no heed.
Such accomplishments should be
Left (in my opinion), to kings,
And emperors, and others
Who I pay little regard to,
Who find such happiness
At receiving a scrap of paper
With not a jot of poetry on it.
I remain of the servile class.
By my own admission and actions,
I shun those who would have me
Believe that my past life,
The one in which I ruled,
If not the world, than at least
The part of it I so ignorantly knew,
Was a happier one.
So far there have been no dragons,
Save for the ones I carry with me
In my imagination,
The heroic battles I fought
Have been with no-one but myself,
In the recesses of my mind,
And the vastness of the ocean,
Carries itself, past the distant shore,
And into the hearts of those I love.
As I reach into my pocket,
I find the goods I carry to be
No more than sugar pills-
A placebo of the mind, that
I am told is good for nothing
By learned physicians, who know
Far more on the subject than I.
Thus I find myself in this foreign land,
With nothing but my optimistic air
To see me through.
I wish no more than to lend my hand,
And show others that I care.
Tell me; Is that a placebo too?
I am often told that, to help others, you must first help yourself. This is sound advice when the basics needs of a person are being neglected for the benefit of others. However, the joy of bringing a smile to a face, be they stranger or loved one, is (to me) the greatest way to help myself. It is a selfish need as much as any other; I expect nothing physical in return, nor do I require people to do similar deeds for me, but the feeling of self-worth I receive is enough for me to deem it a selfish act. I feel, almost always, a feeling of self-gratification from increasing the stock of harmless cheerfulness in the world, and couldn't imagine a pursuit I would rather follow.
If I bring a smile to your face, or bring you comfort in any way, I am doing it for no-one's benefit but my own. I do it not because I am a nice person, but because I wish to view myself as one. Not because I wish to make someone happy, but because I wish to KNOW I've made someone happy. I would argue until the cows came home that the reasons behind my actions make me as self-centred as anyone who cares to pursue any other goal for their own wants.
In short; If I bring you happiness, who is to know that you haven't provided me with even more?