Advice From the Past
"This came to me from a friend".
I find it particularly fascinating that this document, obviously written with a great deal of thought and passion, could be just as appropriate today as it was the day it was written by Max Ehrmann (1872 - 1945) sometime in the 1920's.
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.
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.
Strive to be happy.
When I originally added this article to my site a few years ago it came with this notation:
The following document was found in Old St. Paul's Church in Baltimore in 1692. Author unknown - age of document unknown.
The real truth about the source of this document was then pointed out to me by areader in England, my thanks to Elina for writing to me and for providing the following link, http://www.fleurdelis.com/desidera.htm where you can read for yourself the interesting background of a story that was mistakenly given a history that it did not deserve.
It would seem to me that the values that people held dear years ago could just as easily be applied to life today. What is old is new again, or at least we should sometimes try and make it so for the benefit of us all.
Remember: "Wisdom is a product of the past, not the future".