At this time of the year, even though I may not celebrate Christmas or any of the other holidays that most people do, I still think of this time of year as special. It’s a time when we feel that peace should prevail on earth and people are supposed to get along.
Way back when I was in high school a very special friend of mine gave me a poster with the words of Desiderata printed on it. I kept it for years and years and in times of anxiety or depression I would pull it out and re-read those words and they always seemed to bring me peace and tranquility.
I don’t think my friend ever knew how much that poster or those words meant to me as I’d refer back to them time and again. Somewhere amid the marriage and the moves and the kids I lost that poster but I have never forgotten the words or the meaning they have held for me so I’d like to take this time to share with you the wisdom of Max Ehrmann:
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 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 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. – Max Ehrmann
Now that I’ve shared that with you I’d also like to say whatever your religion, national origin or beliefs (I hope I didn’t leave anyone out!).
Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Shub Naya Baras! Joyeux Noël! Selamat Hari Natal! Nollaig Shona Dhuit! Buone Feste Natalizie! Merry Keshmish! God Jul! Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia! Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun! Froehliche Weihnachten! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! May we all have a Happy Progressive New Year!! (Thanks Susan.)