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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holiday Greetings RVers - Desiderata

If you are a wordy sort like me you may have a few poems or stories that inspire you, cause you to reflect, remind you of what's important. Used in author Max Ehrmann's 1933 Christmas greeting and intended for use in Adlai Stevenson's 1965 holiday message, Desiderata is especially relevant in today's world.

It's noted in the book "Desiderata: a survival guide for life" that Ehrmann wrote this prose for himself 'because it counsels those virtues I felt myself most in need of'...it was his guide for striving for simplicity, sincerity, and serenity.

I keep a copy near my desk and once in a while choose a snippet to ponder. I think there's a little something for everyone in this poem.

If you are familiar with Desiderata perhaps you'll enjoy seeing it again. If it's new to you take some time to explore it and consider how it relates to your life.


written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s

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 vexations 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 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.

Learn more on these websites:
Desiderata Rises from the Grave
Desiderata...a survival guide for life

Here's to the kickoff of a fabulous holiday season,


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