My friend and fellow blogger, Janine over at Internal Ink, inspires me. In today’s post, Giving – The Holiday Spirit, she reminds us that not every gift fits nicely under the tree. She encourages us to think about “what you can give from yourself “ this Christmas season.
I thought about her post for quite a while this morning and decided I’d like to offer my readers the gift of Optimism by sharing the poem, Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, 1927.
Les Crane first introduced me to Desiderata in the 70’s. His narration of this work set to music, is on my IPod. I listen to it often as a gentle and comforting reminder that “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.” For me, it has always inspired optimism – for a better life and better world.
Desiderata is interpreted from Latin as “Things to be Desired” or “Things Desired as Essential.” I hope this poem inspires you to pursue desires that bring you peace, joy and contentment.
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.
Merry Christmas from me to you! See you in 2015.