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Believe It

Carpe Diem, Seize The Carp

Ask not - we cannot know - what end the gods have set for you, for me, not even by using Babylonian calculators. Babbling on, the Romans had an ancient saying, Carpe Diem, Latin American for "Seize the carp." Marco Polo had introduced the Romans to the carp, having brought some back from China, along with firecrackers and rice cakes. For the Romans, "Seize the carp" meant to grab a fish for yourself now. Not to wait, not even to take time to cook it, but to eat of life and enjoy. For tomorrow you may die. We who are about to eat raw fish salute you. The Romans were never afraid of failure. They knew that failure could be the foundation for great success. After all, these were the people who invented lead pipes. They drank failure, like a fish drinking air. After they discovered lead poisoning, they turned the lead pipes into carp-delivery systems. So seize the carp. Give a man a fish like the carp, and he feeds for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll have a job for a lifetime. Then he'll be carping. Like a koi in a frozen pond, we don't want to hear you cry. You can lead Horace to water, but you cannot make him fish. Be wise, strain the wine; and since life is brief, prune back fear of failure! Even while we speak, jealous time has passed: put as little fear as possible in tomorrow! Pluck the day, scale the fish, sashay the sushi.

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