RELIGION
04/16/2014 10:26 am ET Updated Apr 16, 2014

Daily Meditation: Never Forget What You Can Do

We all need help maintaining our personal spiritual practice. We hope that these daily meditations, prayers and mindful awareness exercises can be part of bringing spirituality alive in your life.

Today's meditation features a poem by contemporary Palestinian-American writer Naomi Shihab Nye. The poem re-imagines what it means to be famous, focusing more on what a person can do than on any other superficial qualification.

proud

Famous by Naomi Shihab Nye

The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.

The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.

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