They say we’ll learn something new everyday… (March ’05)

And while each day that passes… and each year greets me a little more unexpectedly… this proves to be true over and over again! As a teen I often heard adults say to each other – “The older I get the more I know that I don’t know anything at all!” More recently I’ve found that to be true in my own life. When I was 19 I knew my ideals beyond a shadow of a doubt and I KNEW how my life was going to pan out… HA! When I was 25 the realization hit me that my parents were more right than I thought they’d ever be. And now I’m a few years into my 30’s and all I know for sure is that I’ve got a lot to learn.

Last night while my husband and I were cleaning our office (this only gets done when family comes into town), Lee ran into something his mother sent to him at Christmas time. It is a poem called “Desiderata”. While Lee says he remembers this going back decades on the walls in his family’s home… this is the first time I’ve run across it in my readings.

Apparently in it’s day it was the poster poem for “make peace, not war”… and while this isn’t meant to be any sort of political blog, I like what the poet speaks in the lines “And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

While my “universe” isn’t as grand and showy and magnificent as The Milky Way, there are questions I have of my Creator daily … He most often answers with “Just trust me!” If you haven’t yet read this, tuck these words away where they fit into your life and let them speak what they will.

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and 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 the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and 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 with your soul.

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

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952

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2 thoughts on “They say we’ll learn something new everyday… (March ’05)

  1. For me, reading this piece brought back many memories. Something you MAY not know about your MUM is that long, long ago when I was in college, I had that same ‘Desiderata’ saying up on the wall right inside the door of my dorm room. Now tell me, did you know that? Didn’t think so … 🙂 Back then it brought a serenity and a focus beyond oneself, I liked that!Anyway, keep writing, we all enoy reading your ponderings!Love ya’, MUM

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