Desiderata: A Poem
This post has received some updates for 2022.
Desiderata, the name of the beautiful poem below, means “things that are desired.”
The last few years have been fruitful, wonderful, rich, enlightening, fulfilling, and…challenging. Such is the rewarding plight for most solopreneurs, especially those who stick their neck out on highly controversial topics.
I wouldn’t have done anything differently. Not a thing.
Things have been fruitful, wonderful, rich, enlightening, fulfilling, and rewarding because they were challenging.
I first shared this poem in 2018 and as I read it now, it means even more to me, largely in the context of the last couple of years we’ve all had to weather—and the article linked above.
I go mostly quiet during the holidays and into early January while I witness many in the health and wellness community get loud and aggressive, blasting people with holiday and new year’s messages of lack and inferiority, just like the year before and the year before that.
Lack of the right body. Lack of the right diet. Lack of the right supplements. Lack of the right relationship with food. Lack of the right…life.
When does it stop?
This is not how I desire to communicate with my readers.
As far as my personal desires, I find that how I want to live my life, including what I want most in this world, is inextricably linked to what I teach my clients, how I operate my health coaching practice, and how I do health freedom and parental rights advocacy—it’s all one never-ending swirl. Health. Freedom.
I came across this poem on my aunt’s Facebook page. This sums up this last year (and the few years prior—it’s also kind of a swirl) and also how I’m viewing this fresh and exciting new year. I’m committed to moving forward as placidly—and freely—as possible.
By Max Ehrmann, 1952
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.