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 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. 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.
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.
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.
Desiderata, meaning “desired things” in Latin, is a prose poem written in 1927 by an American writer named Max Ehrmann, who died in 1945. He wrote it at the age of 54 and the text was unknown until it was found beside the deathbed of Adlai Stevenson in 1965. It is said that Mr. Stevenson was planning to use it in his Christmas cards that year.
In the early 1970’s there were two professional recordings of the poem. The recordings were very popular with that generation of young people, flower children and hippies who were well known for their rebellion against the “the establishment”. That is when I first heard it. It touched my heart then even though I did not understand it as fully as I do now.
The poem came to my mind today and after looking it up and reading the history of it and about the author, I was very encouraged.
Although I have written for many years and there are notebooks lying around and packed away in boxes that are full of my writings, I am just now starting to publish publically. Like the author at the time that He wrote this poem, I am 54.
Writings will live on for years and will touch more hearts than you know or can imagine. They can be multiplied over and over again by their printing and reprinting. In this age of technology, writings can and will reach all parts of the earth.
I used to hope that my children would, at the least, find some of my writings after I died and somehow be able to glean from them. Now, I wonder if they will ever care. The Bible tells me, though that even Jesus was not accepted in his home town or by his brothers until after His death.
Desidarata…. “desired things”. Desires come straight from my heart. The desires of my heart come straight from God’s heart.
Many authors as well as artists are not “discovered” until after they are no longer an inhabitant of this earth. They have long since arrived home after their journey in this foreign land that we call earth. The words and creations that God fashioned through them still inhabit, though.
I am convinced beyond the shadow of any doubts that even after we die we will reap the rewards from our endeavors and our obedience to what God called us to do. To what God called us to create.
Blessings to you,
Be encouraged today!
Love and Godspeed,
*My thoughts do not include correct or incorrect theology. My purpose for publishing this poem is not to pick apart the theology which could be criticised in one or two of the sentences but to bring about another point.