As we enter the festive holiday season around the world and we all have time away from school and work to spend more time with loved ones, I thought it may be fruitful to share this wonderful piece of prose by Max Ehrmann which is full of such good advice.
We live in such a busy world, full of stress and expectation.
We sometimes need to step back… take a deep breath, reflect and find some peace.
It’s not easy but there are ways to do it.
I need to remember these gems myself, as this year draws to a close and we enter a new one with a chance to start afresh.
Let’s try and find some peace amongst the chaos…
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.
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.
Strive to be happy.
– Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with family and friends. I hope you find happiness in their company and your own.
I hope the coming new year brings you all much joy and success.
Have a great holiday!
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