Walt Whitman, preface to Leaves of Grass

This is what you shall do: Love the
earth and sun and the animals, despise
riches, give alms to every one that
asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others,
hate tyrants, argue not concerning God,
have patience and indulgence toward the
people, take off your hat to nothing
known or unknown or to any man or number
of men, go freely with powerful
uneducated persons and with the young
and with the mothers of families, read
these leaves in the open air every
season of every year of your life,
reexamine all you have been told at school
or church or in any book, dismiss
whatever insults your own soul, and your
very flesh shall be a great poem and
have the richest fluency not only in its
words but in the silent lines of its
lips and face and between the lashes of
your eyes and in every motion and joint
of your body. . . .

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