I was going through Robin’s archives at witlessdatingafterfifty and came across her post Are you a “lister of things?” She describes, among other things, her scrolled poster of one of my favorite poems: Desiderata.
Max Ehrmann’s widely recognizable poem is also a philosophy and instruction for living a beautiful life. Here are my favorite excerpts:
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence….
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others…
they too have their story….
[T]he world is full of trickery…
and everywhere life is full of heroism….
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should….
[I]n the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Ehrmann’s words are as applicable today as when he wrote them in 1927. I imagine they will continue to be relevant through time.
What would Ehrmann make of the Blogosphere? I believe that he’d like it. When he advises us, “Speak your truth quietly and clearly” he could be referencing our blogs.
We’re all speaking our truths and listening to each others’ stories. We’re all learning and re-learning in this noisy confusion of life.
We need to remember that we’re all children of the universe and that everything is unfolding as it should. If we pay attention, we can see that everywhere life is full of heroism.
Smile, be gentle with yourselves and enjoy the day, my friends. For all its broken dreams it is still a beautiful world.
[Excerpts in italics from “Desiderata,” by Max Ehrmann, 1927.]