Until my friend Roz sent me this poem, I'd no idea this phrase was written by the famous Robert Burns in 1785 in his ode: "To a mouse"
It is a apology to the mouse after he turned up it's nest in the field with his plough.
It also suggests Burns' admired of the mouse's ability to live in the moment and not be worried about future problems that may never happen.
And maybe it's also about the futility of worrying about things we can't control.
He was only 26 when he wrote it. Wise well beyond his years.
The full poem is here and a reading here.
And the final verse:
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren't alone]
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promised joy.
And I'll have a thought to that wee mousie and my futile worries of the future when I'm singing Auld Lang Syne this new year's eve.....
"... outstanding in the field of self mastery..."
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