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 and 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.
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.
Strive to be happy.
Regrettably, poetry is one of the things I have never extensively studied, however, this is one of my favorite poems. It has a confusing origin, but was written by Max Ehrmann in 1927 and was included in a book of devotionals from St. Paul's Church in Baltimore in the 50's.
Desiderata is Latin and roughly translates to things desired.
Every time I read this poem, it reminds me to be calm with the craziness of life and to still my thoughts and focus. When people step out of line or are aggravating me, it reminds me to take a breath and be calm with them because I don't know their story.
Today, as I celebrate my birthday, another year passed, and look thoughtfully to the coming year, I take this poem out of my notes and read it again. I hope by sharing it with my patients, readers, and friends, we can all work towards patience, accepting love as it presents itself, actively displaying forgiveness and acceptance of each other as we walk through life together.
By: Dr. J.J. Gregor
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