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A Poetic Rendition of Irrational Thinking

Updated on September 11, 2011

Albert Ellis, PhD

It is better

To almost never

Say never.

It’s not that you should or shouldn’t;

Just that it is better..

Not that you can’t.

You most certainly can.

Not that you have to.

You surely do not.

It’s just that it’s better

To almost never

Say never.

And, it is better

To hardly ever

Say always.

It’s not that you should or shouldn’t,

It’s just better that you don’t.

Not that you absolutely

Cannot ever say always

Just that it’s better said

Hardly ever.

For how many things really

Are always and never?

Sometimes perhaps,

Or even a lot,

Maybe rarely,

But hardly ever

Always or never.

Should is another

That’s better not said

For too many shoulds

Will fluck up your head

And bring you down

With the talk of the town.

For should is a shaming word

That according to Ellis*

Goes from should hood to shit hood

In a minute or less

And leaves you feeling quite a mess.

Perhaps it would be better,

But almost never should it.

If I should do this and shouldn’t that

Shame fills the space beneath my hat,

For if I should but don’t

What am I but a nothing?

And if I shouldn’t but I do

I am nothing but a fool.

So better not to should on yourself

And leave the “should” word on the shelf,

Far, far away from yourself.

Let’s move on to either and or,

And leave these words outside the door.

Either and or

When I am thinking

Will limit my choices

To just the two,

Either and or,

And just ignore

That fact that there are plenty more

Between either and or

That are probably better

Than either and or

And certainly more

Than either and or.

Let’s not forget

All or nothing

That tells me lies about my choices;

That there are only the two:

All or nothing,

And if I can’t have it all,

Then I don’t want nothin’.

The truth of the matter is

That some

A little

A few



And more

Can be better than nothing

Though clearly not all.

And doesn’t make me a nothing

But someone who got a few; but not all.

Like should hood leads to shit hood

Must and have to are….

Musterbations of the mind,

According to Master Ellis,

The father of the rational mind.

When we tell ourselves we must and have to

And really we only prefer to,

We’re creating a great deal of stress

That’s imaginary at best,

And irrational, according to Ellis.

Feel the difference between have to and choose to

And that between must and want to.

No one wants to have to.

We all would like to choose to.

And even if I truly am forced to

I still can choose the how to.

Seeing people and things

As all good or all bad

Is another mistake that will

Mess with your head –

Especially when the person is dead

And all we have of them

Is what’s in our head.

No one is as perfectly good as a god,

Or as totally bad as a demon might be.

We all are imperfect

Yet not entirely flawed

And we all have some good,

Still, we are not God.

When I see you as all bad

And you try to do good

I might conclude

that while your deed is good

Your motive is not

And condemn you to hell

With the rest of your lot.

When you are all good to me,

I hold you on a pedestal

Til I see the inevitable flaw.

Then I open the trap door

On your pedestal floor

And watch you hang

From the gallows where you once were adored.

And condemn you to hell

Though I am not the Lord.

So whether you are demonized or deified

Your fate is just the same

When my mind is not so sane.

If in my head I awfulize

And catastrophize

A thing that is only unfortunate;

Not horrible or awful

Or the end of the world,

I’ll likely catch can’t-standitis;

A fate much worse than hepatitis,

Where I simply can’t stand it anymore,

And have to run to the nearest door,

To escape a drama

That only exists

In a mind that’s sore

From awful cysts.

I can drown my sorrow in a bottle of gin

That’ll keep me from feeling such dread again

At least until the gin takes over.

Then I can feast on awful again,

And drink myself to oblivion.

Where my thoughts go

My heart and feet will follow

If I am depressing myself

Or making me panic

Be assured my thoughts are frantically

Filled with fear and sorrow

Because of a should

Always or never

Either or

Must or have to

That can be replaced

With something more rational

That will help me feel

A bit more stable

And make choices that are responsible.


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    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      thank you micky Dee. kind of you to say so.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Great funny vision! Shyte!

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      I made an attempt to make a video after vern's post, but ran into some downloading problems, and haven't gotten back to it. Maybe I'll give it another try this week end. Check Back. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment, benjimester. I'm glad you liked it. There are lots more irrational thoughts where those came from, so maybe another hub is in order!

    • Benjimester profile image

      Benji Mester 

      8 years ago from San Diego, California

      I'm with VR above, I'd love to hear this read aloud. The subject matter is awesome. I was chuckling the whole time. Very cool piece and great analysis. I think I liked the analysis of "either or" the best.

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      Thank you, Tina. And let the hubbing commence! You have a great week end as well.

    • TINA V profile image

      TINA V 

      8 years ago

      This is a nice expression of irrational thinking. So don't get stress and just keep on hubbing. Enjoy your weekend!

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      as you know the should hood to shit hood is Ellis' brilliance, not mine. I'm just reflecting his! Thanks tonymac. the parts that aren't ellis quotes are my own flucking version of brilliance though!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      A flucking great read! Should hood to shit hood indeed! That is just brilliant. And so is the rest of this.

      Great stuff indeed!

      Love and peace


    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      if you draw it/them, I'll post them! Thanks Jess.

    • Jess Killmenow profile image

      Jess Killmenow 

      8 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

      A well-built home for a cartoon, this! So well-constructed. Nice. Roomy. Well furnished. Ahhh.

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      Thanks alekhouse and Denise. LOL. Yes exhausting! I'm so glad I stopped thinking irrationally! LOL in BOLD. I wonder if there's a Guiness record for the longest train of irrational thoughts. Thanks for stopping to read and comment....and glad you got a chuckle or 2.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Funny! LOL

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks for sharing your irrational must be exhausted. Very clever.

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      well thank you, D.Virtual.Doctor! I appreciate your stopping by and saying so.

    • D.Virtual.Doctor profile image

      Funom Theophilus Makama 

      8 years ago from Europe

      great hub.... Nice expressions

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      Thanks Nell. I can feel you smiling! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      HI, very very clever, LOVED IT! lol brilliant, cheers nell

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      this one has written lyrics to follow

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      @vern - here's a link to finnegan's wake

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      Wow. Sheer brilliance! Thanks so much WE. This one kept going a mile long and couldn't be stopped without coming to a screeching halt. Finally I found the finale and ended the thing, and here it is published and awaiting your comment, which I do treasure evermore! Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      Website Examiner 

      8 years ago

      Sheer brilliance! This is definitely one of the most interesting, well-written, and impressive things that I've read on HubPages. Great foundation, very structured and easy to follow.

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      LOL! I just had a vivid picture of epigramman driving south to pick me up to head to Cali for a poetry reading. We'd ask sadlerider and micky dee if they would want to go. Where's MGB? With Daniel on the organ and James on drums, we'd have a hubber reunion with a bunch of hub bums!

      Well I am impressed. You know the names of poets! I'm afraid I'll have to google those last 2.

      Both and is my favorite remedy for either or as well.

      Your stopping in to post your thoughts makes my morning swell.

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 

      8 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      O my flucking gosh! Would love to hear you read this aloud! Reminds me a little bit of the writer who wrote Finnegan's Wake--why can't I remember his name. James Joyce? Love all the sounds, the sounds and the rhythms. It just keeps going, snowballing, so to speak. A little like John Donne and Gerald Manley Hopkins. Where is all the poetry coming from these days on hubpages? Was it epigramman who started this "movement"? The two words I really like are both-and, one up from either-or!! And was all of that Ir rational or R-R-R-R-R rational or Her-r-r-r-r-r-r rational or Ire-rational?

      THANKS AGAIN FOR HUB worth reading aloud over and over to find something new each time.

      AND love the graphics or photos


    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      why are we both up at this hour? I'll be filling in those expletive blanks if i don't get my beauty sleep!

    • epigramman profile image


      8 years ago

      ..well if you ever get banned I'll go with you .....

      and a good writer, as you know, dosen't have to resort to profanity of any kind - some of my writing is pretty graphic or explicit - but only because I let the reader fill in the blanks or use their own imagination .....

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      i hardly ever need to use that word but when i do i usually can find another way to say it! And I don't want to get banned from hubpages! Thank you epigramman for your kind, kind words. I shudder to think what epigrams you might come up with when you are so inspired. I'll have to check out your very latest to see. reverencing back.

    • epigramman profile image


      8 years ago

      .....I love the context and the use of the word 'fluck' - lol lol - when I need to use that word - I borrow from the Irish and write - 'fook'

      ...but let me tell you my friend this is an epic masterpiece right up there with your Story of Two Hubbers - it's so very clever and witty - and I

      love your title - gee I wish I came up with that one - the epigramman is very inspired by this right now have put yourself on another level with this one - bravo and I bow to you in complete and stunned reverence!


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