As many of you know I do not believe in “coincidence”. Instead, I choose to see “synchronicity” – or as Albert Einstein once said – ‘God’s way of remaining anonymous’.
Several times over the past week I have encountered the poem I am sharing below. Many will recognize it as ‘that cool poster we hung on the wall in college’. It was that and is now recognized as more important.
Curiously, I looked up the definition of desiderata. It means things wanted or needed.
I invite you to now read Max Ehrmann’s 1927 poem through that lens. And ask, “what of this do I want or need?”
And if you are so inclined, create a structure that will support that thought as it becomes your new reality.
Go placidly amid the noise and 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 the dull and 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 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.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical 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 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 with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann 1927