Thursday, February 19, 2009


Occasionally, my blog postings are republished on Vibrant Nation, a wonderful website where women 50+ exchange ideas and join in smart conversation. In one such exchange prompted by my Jan. 27th posting (which Vibrant Nation re-titled "What Quote or Poem Inspires You?"), a woman shared the following:

By Nikki Giovanni

if i can't do
what i want to do
then my job is to not
do what i don't want
to do

it's not the same thing
but it's the best i can

if i can't have
what i want . . . then
my job is to want
what i've got
and be satisfied
that at least there
is something more to want

since i can't go
where i need
to go . . . then i must . . . go
where the signs point
through always understanding
parallel movement
isn't lateral

when i can't express
what i really feel
i practice feeling
what i can express
and none of it is equal
i know
but that's why mankind
alone among the animals
learns to cry

So many times we think we don't have a choice when we really do. What I love about Giovanni's poem is that she teases out some of the complexity of the issue.


  1. We often do have a choice!

    And most importantly, we have a choice when it comes to our attitude!

    L. Diane Wolfe

  2. Nikki, this is really a fun poem.

    And, hey! I'm living proof that it's never too late to change direction. (-:

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Blogging at

  3. Anonymous9:24 AM

    I think we always have a choice. Even if circumstances prevent a choice of action or what happens to us, we still have a choice about how we respond.

    Thanks for sharing, Prill.


  4. Anonymous11:34 AM

    This was a great poem, Prill. It is so true that we always have a choice. We may not like something that happens in our life, but we always have a choice as to how we will face it and deal with it.