Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Desiderata


source


I've mentioned before that I want this blog to be as much about mental health as it is about physical health.  I think a good way to jump-start that aspect of this endeavor is to share with you one of my favorite poems.  I keep it hanging on my wall at work, and whenever I get stressed, downtrodden, or generally unhappy, I re-read it and find peace.

It is a 1927 American prose poem that became widely known after a Baltimore rector used it in a series of devotional materials in the 1960s.  It has since snowballed in popularity, and thanks to that rector (Baltimore has given me some truly wonderful gifts, huh?), it is available for us to reflect on today (source).

Here it is.  I hope it inspires you as much as it has inspired me:

Desiderata

Max Ehrmann


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. 

Ahhh, I feel better already.  Do you?  

I definitely recommend printing this out and putting it somewhere where you can refer to it whenever times get tough, or just when you need a burst of inspiration.  

Keep an eye out for inspirational quotes that speak to you.  It is a wonder how much a good mantra can improve your morale and center you, and Desiderata is a great starting point for finding one that works for you. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing, Biz. That is still true and beautiful no matter how many times you read it.

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