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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Desiderata

Image by Peregrine Blue (from Everystock Photo)

I remember the first time I heard this poem in the form of a song. I was an idealistic teenager with many desires and dreams. A tree-hugging hippie who wanted to trust that the world was a safe place in which I could play as a ‘child of the Universe’.  There was no way I could have known and understood at the time, the impact the words of American poet Max Erhmann would have on me as I matured. His guidance inspired my dedication to peace, interfaith spirituality, aspirations, commitment to integrity and immersion in the beauty of this life.  I see it as both poetry and prayer.

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Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. (It has taken many years, but I have endeavored to dwell in stillness and silence, allowing it to nourish my soul.)

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 vexations to the spirit. (I interact on a daily basis with some who see eye to eye with me and others with whom I might be tempted to butt heads, and know that peaceful interactions begin within)

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. (There have been times when my petulant little kid kicks up a fuss and demands to know why someone else seems more successful than I am, until I realize that they may have gotten there first and could be a way-shower, shining a light on the path on which I may tread.)

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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 perennial as the grass. (I see strengths in others who follow their ideals; being in integrity with themselves as I endeavor to do myself. Feigning affection?  Never. When I love someone, they know it. I am learning to let love in.)

Take kindly to 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 and loneliness. (I have always been encouraged to respect my elders and now, at 55, I actually AM an elder. Imagine that! My spirit is strong and stands as a guardian at the gate, keeping fear at bay.)

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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. (Allowing for ease and self-nurturing, being as compassionate with myself as I am with others has opened to the door to wonder. Trusting that Spirit has my back and that the Highest Good prevails)

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. (The God of my understanding has been a serene haven for my sometimes troubled mind)

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. (I see beauty everywhere, because I look for it.)

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. (Dancing out into the world today with a smile in my heart.)

Max Ehrmann c.1927

http://youtu.be/nuDmNWwzaus  Spock Thoughts (Desiderata) spoken by Leonard Nimoy

 

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