Sunday, December 16, 2007

It May Sound Cliche, but I'll Do It Anyway

"Go placidly amid the noise & haste, & 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 & clearly; and listen to others, even the dull & 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 & bitter; for always there will be greater & 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 & disenchantment it is 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 imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue & loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees & 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 our labors & aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy."

This is a letter found in old St. Paul's Church, dated 1692. It was addressed to Desiderata. I first saw this letter hung on the men's bathroom wall at the small church I attend. Once at an estate sale, I found a copy of it for sale and now is displayed on my wall for those entering my home to read if desired. It's a letter of wisdom and advice. I would like to follow this doctrine on a daily basis, but keeping to any kind of ethics or schedule is difficult for any person. "Do not distress yourself with imaginings." I find myself thinking too much. Another quote I admire by a former professor of mine, Laura Jefferson; "Don't avoid thinking, but think in ways that produce action." This quote was in reference to acting, but I can relate it to life. I sit most of the day thinking and dreaming how things would be if this happened or that happened. I do not focus on the present and what could be happening.

This letter has great wisdom to offer. Life is too good to waste thinking without moving.


.mathr. said...

Well said.

June said...

Excellent words of advise for any person in any home. I have read those words so many times...


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