1976 edition of The Desiderata of Happiness po...

1976 edition of The Desiderata of Happiness poetry collection (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not sure the universe is unfolding as it should, but I find this prose poem comforting, and I need to be comforted today.  Last night I attended a Christmas Party for my Writers’ Group and one of the members took the time to write this piece of inspiration on a sheet of paper in printing reminiscent of calligraphy and frame it. It now sits on my desk where I can see it and read it at will. I cannot form any more words about the horrific events that took place yesterday and the story that continues to unfold. I hope that this will provide a little refuge, inspiration, and yes, hope for all of us:

                              Desiderata: Desired Things

Go placidly amidst 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 shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy. ~ Max Ehrman ~ written in 1927

I do not want to be trite; I do not want to deny that an unspeakable thing has happened; I do not want to live in denial. I do know that we have to go on; we have to set aside our trivial worries and realize what is really important. And we need to find some peace. While we may not be able to be cheerful or happy right now–we need to “nurture strength of spirit” to shield us.

I have no idea how the people who have to deal with this first hand will do it, but I do know that we can lend a hand in showing them that we care. Here is the address to the school provided by Robin Coyle. Write some words of compassion, address the envelope, and send it to: Sandy Hook Elementary School, 12 Dickenson Drive, Newtown, CT 06482. We can do something.

Peaceful and Calm

Peaceful and Calm (Photo credit: Striking Photography by Bo Insogna)

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31 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The tragedy is still so fresh and raw you can only hope my friend. Thank you for your comforting words

  2. Wow, I am definitely going to type this up myself and frame it. What beautiful, inspirational words to remind us of what is important in life and what to be thankful for. Thank you LouAnn and big hugs to you!!

    • I am glad you like it — I wrote it out for two of my nieces and they loved it–now I have to write it out for Chay my other favourite niece. (are you reading this my dear Chay?)
      It is truly inspirational and seems to cover almost all bases

  3. Thank you for sharing the Desiderata. It hung in an office in a building that I cleaned way back when I was still in high school. I stopped to read it every time I entered that office. Over time, I memorized bits and pieces of it but I haven’t seen it in it’s entirety in a very long time.

    • It is a wonderful piece isn’t it–I am glad you were reminded of it again.

  4. Thank you for this lovely post. I agree…hard to know if the universe is unfolding as it should. Thank you for sharing the school’s address, I will write to express my sorrow for this loss, and hope for the future. After all, hope is what keeps us all going, in all circumstances. ~ Sheila

  5. Such beautiful and calming words, LouAnn.

  6. There are no words that can express an understanding of what these families will go through now as a result and every year they will always feel their pain just before what should be the happiest holiday. I like how you handled to write about this tragedy, great job.

    • thank you so much – it can get pretty draining and the words are so hard–I cannot imagine what they are going through

  7. Lovely.. Thank you for sharing this with us all !!

  8. I love Desiderata and reading it now couldn’t have come at a better time for all of us. The world is reeling in horror at the moment and we need something to calm our minds…

  9. Ahhhhh…breathing that in feels so good. Many thanks, LouAnn.

  10. Your post was so comforting at such a heart-wrenching time LouAnn. Thank you.

  11. You are right, we need to move on. tomorrow is a fresh day. I know it is hard to move on in a different world we were living only a few days ago. I am just thankful that God is with us as we move forward. He alone will bring healing and comfort to the families and to the rest of the world.

  12. It might surprise you to learn that I have the Desiderata in two places in my home, one is on the wall in English, the other is in a plaque on a table in Sanskrit. \I have had these in my home all my life, which came from my bedroom as a teenager.

    Can I like this x 1000?

    This is the exact belief and thought process that back in the 60’s my parents and their friends took issue with.
    We were peace loving, Desiderata toting hippies by their standards. Funny how things change.

    This was a perfect choice Lou I love that it was you who posted it Thank you It is always a comfort ~

    • We always seem to be on the same page–I am so not surprised that you have this up in your house at all–it is so the you I have grown to know and love–
      Thank you for enjoying it in one more place—

  13. When I was at university just about everybody had a copy of this on the wall of their room. It’s still relevant now

  14. Thank you for pausing to share that, LouAnn. Sometimes, in our busy and oft-challenged lives, we need to pause and remember these words. A taxpayer paused by the house to pay taxes this morning and said she was too heartbroken to look forward to Christmas this year. It would have been nice to share these words with her, along with the hug.

    • This time of year magnifies the horrific things that happen–but we have to forge on–your hug probably helped a lot (now if you had paid her taxes I am sure she would have jollied up)

      • Ha HA! If I paid all my taxpayers taxes we’d be in the poor house by now. Come to think of it, we may already be in the poor house… NOT! We are just doing fine. Hopefully. 😉

      • we are too – hopefully

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