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 (Photo credit: Striking Photography by Bo Insogna)