On Sam Neill


By Bill O’Connor –

Men like Sam Neill offer themselves for public office because better men do not. Sometimes they gain the office; sometimes not. It is largely a sum of powerful allies, commitment personality and luck that they win or lose. I met with Sam Neill several years ago on a recommendation of him as a man who knew politics. I will not say he was cynical. That word is too heavy to convey the sadness I found in Mr. Neill’s outlook. It was more like a complete abandonment of ideals and a certain anger and resentment over their loss, combined with arrogance at knowing how to manipulate soft under belly of political life. In his current situation I worry about reports that he stole this amount from this person and more from another, but while mentioning restitution it is never plainly said that he will make complete restitution to all. The jail time should be for the crimes. Complete financial restitution to the lives he has wrecked is all that will save his soul. I knew the sound of Harry Truman’s voice as President and I have not read anything to compare with the “Desiderata” that advises how to hold on to our ideals in the face of the range human misbehavior. We all, with Sam Neill, need to try.

Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata” 1927

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

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