Films, Books, Musings-With the Glamour of Old Hollywood and the Flair of the Retro

Desiderata- Stanza by Stanza. Part 1

In Attitude, Books on June 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm


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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.

How hard it is not to get caught up in the chaos of everyday life, the rushing, the needless spending and eating, the petty arguments and fights, the worry and panic that the news provokes, the drama and gossip that reality tv incites. How hard it is not to add our two cents to the negative conversation, to not share the gossip or to not strike out or back with our words.

The more we could practise stillness and curbing our tongue, the more we could respond rather than reacting and express every single emotion, the more inner peace we could have. Our inner peace would grow and grow and bless others.

How used to planning our next response, or checking text messages, rather than listening when someome speaks to us. How often do we miss hearing something important or lovely? How often does a child, or partner or parent or friend walk away not feeling heard? How often do we hear the words, or some of them, and end up not getting the true message. How often do we ignore or reply dismissively to someone who is different to us, who we think is boring or weird or dorky? What about a person who is dressed differently, or of another race or religion, do we already have a judgement on them before we know their story?

What if we could listen with all of our concentration and an open heart? How would our life and our world change?

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

  1. I have always loved the DESIDERATA. When I was a little girl i used to visit my aunt in the holidays. She chose to put the poem on the back of the toilet door! Needless to say jut about everyone who visited her became familiar with it, and to even start to memorise it. Now so many years later, it’s interesting to consider how it has meant different things to me over the decades. SO much to ‘sit with’ and think about. I think it’s great that you decided to do this blog and I really appreciate and aree with your thoughtful reflection. xk

    • My year 12 Society and Culture teacher gave us a copy of the Desiderata, I didn’t really pay much attention to it at that stage, but I never forgot it. It must have stayed in the back of my mind for a reason!

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