Mandan News

Dan Ulmer: The best way to explain stuff is often best left to others

Both of my loyal readers will certainly affirm that there’s sure a lot of folks that are better writers than me. So I was cleaning up one of those forgotten boxes that dated, from what I can tell, somewhere in the vicinity between 1990 and 1998 when an old “Desiderata” poster popped up. It had been awhile since I read it and its magic touched my heart again so I thought I’d encourage you to read it too… even if you’ve read it b/4, read it again. It will once again remind you of the path we wished the whole wide world would follow.

You’ll discover that a higher power was sending us a message through the hands of its author, Max Sherman. I pulled this off of Wikipedia.com… hope you enjoy it and that your holidays not only touch your heart but the hearts of those around you… Merry Christmas.

Desiderata (Latin: “desired things,” plural of desideratum, the supine of desidero) is a 1927 prose poem by American writer Max Ehrmann (1872-1945). Largely unknown in the author’s lifetime, the text became widely known after its use in a devotional, after subsequently being found at Adlai Stevenson’s deathbed in 1965, and after spoken-word recordings in 1971 and 1972.

Some time around the year 1959, Reverend Frederick Kates, rector of Saint Paul’s Church in Baltimore, Md., included “Desiderata” in a compilation of devotional materials for his congregation. The compilation included the church’s foundation date: “Old Saint Paul’s Church, Baltimore A.D. 1692.” The date of the text’s authorship is widely mistaken as 1692, the year of the church’s foundation.

Desiderata

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