January 26, 2009

Good day, team,

Today’s challenge comes from one of my favorite writings, “Desiderata,” found in old Saint Paul’s Church, Baltimore, dated 1692; it is attributed to Max Ehrmann.

In rereading it, I am awed by its timeliness. There is much wisdom here and, once you’ve read it, you may choose any one of a number of suggestions it makes as your challenge this week. For me, I am choosing the sentence that reads, “Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant: They too have their story.”


“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 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.

“Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection; neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is 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 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 [or her] 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 careful. Strive to be happy.”

Have a good week!