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the desiderata and spiritual life advice

The greatest, spiritual life advice

“Possibly the wisest and most profound advice on dealing with life,” that’s how I’d rate this poem. What’s slightly odd is that it was written nearly a hundred years ago. A time when top hats and flat caps marked your standing in society, when most homes had an outside toilet and many more still lacked electricity.

In our high tech, fast paced world what advice could someone from 1927 possibly offer us? A great deal as it turns out and what’s really poignant to pause on is the fact no matter how far, we appear, to have come the passage of time has not changed the struggles we face as human beings.

When it comes to joy and sorrow, heartbreak and love, peace and frustration and all the other raw emotions we experience in this rich tapestry of life it is evident that the passage of time is irrelevant. See what you think….

 

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the 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 to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or 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.

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 in your soul.

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

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

 

Isn’t it amazing!

For those of you who might be interested, it was written by an American lawyer and writer called Max Ehrmann. It is said that he was inspired to write the Desiderata after a dairy entry about desire (Desiderata is desire in Latin and translates as ‘desired things.’)

We have a copy printed out and stuck on the fridge. We try and share it with our kids, especially the bit about comparing yourself to other’s (which is even more relevant in the 21st century!).

We hope that it inspires you and that in the days and weeks ahead no matter the sham and drudgery life presents you that you remain cheerful and happy.

Namaste.

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