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|Desiderata, or how to impress young people…..|
Aug. 6th, 2012 at 11:13 am
Last week I went to Bill’s gospel essentials class, which is supposed to be attended by investigators and those who are becoming reactivated. None of them showed up, but there were five others who came, I’m not sure why, they are all active.
The lesson was on charity and we were discussing judging and comparing and I said something off-hand about that part of the quote in Desiderata that goes: “do not compare yourself to others, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”
Boy, they thought that was wise and asked me to repeat it. I’d been a little embarrassed to even quote it because it’s kind of schmaltzy and, I thought, passe. They’d never heard of Desiderata. In my teenage day (late 60’s, early 70’s), one was thought to be deep if you could quote it—-and/or Kahlil Gabran. I would sit on the lawn in front of the library and hope some cute boy would see how wonderful I was to be reading “The Prophet.”
Anyway, for you youngsters (I heard while watching “Family Feud” that the birthday people dread most is 40. Huh? Forty is young! Although I remember some 80 year old women once telling me, when I told them I was 52, “Oh, you’re a baby!”), here is Desiderata. It is pretty wise, really. It makes for good meditation. Age? Age is relative. I’m 60, but I act like I’m an uneducated 15 year old, look like I’m 80 and inside, I feel like a scared kid. Well, not as scared as I used to be, experience has seen to that. Here it is!:
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
You are a child of the universe,
Therefore be at peace with God,
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.