Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

A poem I stumbled on while in training school and I practically forgot about about. Well, till yesterday night. Great poem and gives us some “principles” to live by. Some parts of the poem struck a chord and I would try to “interpret” them the way I understand it.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
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.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

 

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons (Hebrews 12:14, Romans 12:18).

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others (Learn to listen to others, respect their opinions but don’t hesitate to say yours as clearly as possible with out ambiguity).

even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. (There is a lesson to learn from everybody, every event and circumstance; even the supposedly “not smart” ones; LEARN all you can).

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit (Read Proverbs well well; they fit injure person; send person to early grave. Chai. Avoid them @ all cost).

Be yourself. (Very self explanatory. BE YOURSELF. Not like your father, your mother, your sister, your brother, your friend, that man that lives down the road, some public figure, some role model. Just yourself. Kapish).

Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, (If you no like person, no form say you like am, but be as nice as possible and tolerant; there is something called love and you would “find it”, stop being skeptical, negative, pessimistic about love).

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth (Let your age reflect your maturity. Don’t be 50 and still be acting and dressing like you are 18).

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. (Fear not…).

be gentle with yourself.  (Be kind to yourself, when you can, treat yourself; stop being harsh on yasef).

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; (Don’t agree with this o. I am a child of God. A lot greater than trees and stars).

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should (Whether you like it or not, the world is changing; the only other constant in life asides God is CHANGE).

The last two paragraphs sums it all up, be at peace with God and with yourself. The world isn’t perfect. Life is not FAIR. That wouldn’t change. Don’t expect it to. To survive, you gotta love God, be at peace with him, build yourself, love yourself and live right. Like Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man (NIV).

Btw, someone defined a cynic as a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. So apt. #Word

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