Sunday Evening Reflection: Desiderata

“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.”

 

Tonight, I am going back in time to the moment I first heard Desiderata, which is Latin for “things desired”.

It was the beginning of a new year and a new decade – 1970.

A poster designed to look like ancient parchment with the Desiderata written boldly in an elegant script was a treasured purchase. It remained on my study desk for inspiration and traveled with me to college a few years later.

2020, the Desiderata continues to be relevant as I look forward to the years ahead.  It is a new year and a new decade.

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann Recitation by Rebecca Budd from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

 

Desiderata

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

Max Ehrmann, 1948

15 Comments

  1. This is such a beautiful post. Thank you, Rebecca 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, Jo! As I look back, I marvel at the history that our generation lived. So many transitions, ideas, medical and technology advances. Through it all, there remains a fundamental need for humanity to belong, to feel whole, to be able to participate with others.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A good choice to start the week and very well-done!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you for your heartwarming comments. We live in a complex world, a society in transition – it is good to remember that peace, reconciliation, resilience starts as an internal conversation. Your comments always make my day.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome, Rebecca. Your posts always give me something to think deeply about, and I learn a great deal from them.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        And I from you! We are on a grand journey.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Indeed we are, journey of the mind and spirit.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. J.D. Riso says:

    Such a beautiful reminder. Your voice is so soothing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you!! I am remembering back to those moments that I felt a “reconciliation” with myself and with the world around me. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Jean-Jacques says:

    Beautifully done Rebecca and the soft voice tones perfectly describes the subject matter.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, Jean-Jacques for opening my eyes to the beauty of poetry. The desiderata came at a pivotal point in my life. Isn’t it interesting that serendipity seems to bring something to our attention at the right moment. Love those coincidences.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Annika Perry says:

    Rebecca, a magical presentation of this classic … you bring the words alive and its wisdom is more relevant today than ever! Thank you for sharing with us here! A heavenly start to my day! Hugs xx 😀🌺❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you, Annika! It is hard to believe that it was 50 years ago when I was first introduced to the Desiderata. So much has happened over the years. Exciting times and transitions. But you are so right – the wisdom of these words are more relevant today than ever. Many hugs coming back your way!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Carolyn Page says:

    A wonderfully spoken rendition of a beautifully detailed way to live life. Well done to you, Rebecca.
    I can remember having this poster hanging upon a wall; one I often looked to and recited the words, many times; bringing a calmness to my being.
    As you’ve mentioned, Rebecca, the elements written are just as relevant today.
    Hugs to you…
    xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother says:

      A kindred spirit. I loved that poster – I know it is somewhere in my papers waiting to be rediscovered. Thank you for your heartwarming and encouraging comments. They mean a great deal to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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