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19 March 2011 @ 08:51 am
Feed Your Head: Desiderata  
Reading my friends list this morning, I saw one post that immediately made me think of responding with lines from Max Ehrmann's famous poem.

And then I saw another.

And another.

And I realized that I could use a reminder, myself.

Max Ehrmann, 1927

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 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.

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.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

I know that when YouTube has videos available, I usually post them, but, oh my stars and garters, Les Crane's 1972 recording is Pure Concentrate of 1970s Badness. Can't we get Leonard Cohen or someone to do their version?
Please don't link to the parody in the comments.

ArchTeryxarchteryx on March 19th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Good heavens, did I need this reminder.
Your Obedient Serpent: Howitzerathelind on March 19th, 2011 11:44 pm (UTC)

I think that I can say with little reservation that every mistake I've made in my life, every wrong turn I've taken, every descent I've made into The Dark Places ... can all be summed up as "Athelind forgot the Desiderata".

Edited at 2011-03-19 11:45 pm (UTC)
one in a billionsiege on March 20th, 2011 01:25 am (UTC)
Suggests I should memorize some poetry, and add it to the list.
Helvetica 'Foofers' Bold: CAKE!foofers on March 20th, 2011 03:35 am (UTC)
Poetry somehow Just Doesn't Do It For Me normally. Every once in a while though...like yesterday, when someone pointed out this.

And though you're not a teacher by profession, you were the first person who came to mind.
Your Obedient Serpent: happyathelind on March 20th, 2011 05:52 am (UTC)
I am ... profoundly flattered.

Last year, I seriously considered becoming a teacher. I took the CBEST and the CSET tests, and I applied to an internship program in Oakland. I think I dropped by your place after the interview, in fact.

The feeling of relief I felt when I didn't land that internship told me something:

I have worked search and rescue, and I have worked in a hospital, and I have held people's lives in my hands.

Teachers hold people's FUTURES in their hands, every day, day in and day out, and that?

THAT intimidates me.

That is HUGE.