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Desperacy and desiderata

published: 2009-05-20

Once upon a time, I was down and blue. It was taking months and I felt there was no way out. I couldn’t speak. The pressure of wanting to exhausted me. I decided to stay at a yogi’s home in the country. He had said noone in his household would expect me to say a word. Indeed, his children accepted me, the silent guest at their table. But at night, I couldn’t stop throwing up. One night, I called my mother crying. She arrived by sunrise and gave me this poem:

by Max Ehrmann

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.

interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real
possession in the changing fortunes of time.
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.
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.

2 Responses to “Desperacy and desiderata”

  1. T says:

    Thank you for sharing. It resonates with me.

  2. alief says:

    @T You’re welcome.

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