18 May 2010

Go Placidly

Mr. B. came home tonight looking all stressed out. More stressed out than most evenings. I watched him heat his dinner in the microwave and ate silently while flicking the TV remote absent-mindedly. I sat next to him thinking he probably wanted me by his side. After a few minutes, he decided to throw away half of his dinner and lit a cigarette.

"Go placidly." I told him.

"What?"

"Go placidly. Desiderata. I think you should read that again." I said.

"Why would I do that? That's so high school!" he replied blowing the smoke away from my direction.

"Because humans forget." I said.

"And you do remember?"

"I just read it this afternoon." I grinned. "Maybe we should have a contest and see who can memorize the whole poem first!"

"Too much work."

"Let's just lie down and read it together! I promise you will feel better." I told him.

Go placidly amid the noise and the 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 to the dull and 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 in your soul.

With all its sham,
drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.


We looked at each other, Mr. B. and me. He told me how happy he is to have me. I told him the same.


Note : Desiderata - a poem by Max Ehrmann 1952

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Becker,
The poem makes me feel peaceful also. Thank you.

sheepmm

Becker said...

dear sheepmm, i love that poem too. i told mr. b. to read it again and again.

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