Being The Emperor of Icecream

In 1923 the American poet Wallace Stevens published The Emperor of Icecream. In terms of framing life and death he said ‘let BE be the finale of SEEM..the only emperor is the emperor of icecream’ (emphasis added). What Stevens was getting at was the importance of being in the moment with its vividness of the experience of being alive.This is in contrast to worrying too much about how we seem to others.The latter attitude is so prevalent in modern day advertising with its emphasis on personal comparisons between individuals and their image and possessions.Many people report they are unhappy because of concerns about what they think others think of them. In real terms you probably do not really know what other people think about you privately whatever they may say publicly.A useful mantra can be to say to yourself ‘what other people think about me is none of my business. What I think about me is my business.’ The latter,you can control.The former you can not definitely determine.

Being the emperor of icecream puts emphasis on having fun:having recreation and hobbies;and the enjoyment of the experience of being grounded in the present moment in life. Balancing play, as well as work and pleasing yourself as well as others,seems important in the maintenance of  good psychological and physical health. Many unwanted symptoms are likely to include reflections of negative expressions of unmet natural needs to laugh and play in a healthy fashion.If we listen to Wallace Stevens about what matters,when framed by the end of life,the ONLY emperor is the emperor of icecream (emphasis added).

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