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,
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.
Max Ehrmann, The Desiderata, 1952
To everything in life, there exists a desirous state of equilibrium A strive for balance. Although the planet spins on a titled axis, and the scales of our morals and scruples are always swayed with the current of time; it is our duty as human beings to find a center. Both in our selves and our orbits around other people. In spite of the cacophony that finds us constantly, find some semblance of peace in what you would define as silence. This day and age finds us constantly bombarded with a constant dull roar and din. We drown out sounds with more sounds. A battle is fought daily for the dominance of your attention.
Silence the static ghosts.
Step out of the digital bath.
Turn the knob left.
The power off.
Explore the quiet of your own mind. You never know what you’ll find. Most things are best illuminated when all the other lights and sounds go out.
Today finds us not at odds, but rather at a loss of understanding for one another. We are a generation that is constantly plugged in and yet, detached. Despondent. Despite the lack of understanding, strive to understand. Understand life brings us to great heights and crushing depths. One can never truly know what anyone is going through. Smiles can be deceiving and tears misleading. It is imperative to keep these things in mind and remember that simply being there with a willingness to understand is enough.
Understanding is born out of communication. The likes of which is becoming a lost art form. Some people speak often and loudly, saying nothing. Others don’t speak often enough and do so quietly. In spite of the stark contrast and extremes of these scenarios, while many speak, few lack the capacity to listen and even fewer, the ability for retention. There are so many people, young and old, that have so many stories to tell. Books should be read, not only for escapist entertainment but also to learn. To analyze the lives and mistakes of people who have lived before as to not echo history. In literature you have the learned culmination of a thousand lifetimes at your disposal. The ability to gain the knowledge of many worlds. Take great care not to dismiss the pages. Listen to when people speak. In this shallow place where falseness reigns, it is hard to know truth and sincerity when she graces your ears. You must learn yourself what is truth. There is so much knowledge to be found in the words of other people. At the very least, there exists a sense of cradling comfort in knowing you are not alone.
As you grow you’ll discover the kind of people that are a detriment to your growth and progression as a human being. There are people out there, contorted and stunted in their own evolution that lack any ability to see past the bridges of their own noses. In trivial matters such as these it is wise to follow the ideal that a Wolf does not concern himself with the opinions of sheep.
You cannot compare yourself to another being. We often dance around these comparative perspectives out of envy or insecurities. Stop the music. For you are you. Unique to an incalculable degree. Comparing your place in life to that of others is a futile gesture, for there will always be greater and lesser men than yourself. Take from them what you can. Draw from them inspiration to reach the same heights and greater or the motivation to steer away from their lows. A grand foundation to finding center in you is always maintaining some sense of progression. To diligently mold a better version of your own self. With satisfaction being the death of desire and the birth of complacency, never seek an end all feeling of satisfaction but rather a constant sense of trial and the accomplishment purchased only in besting the obstacles set by your own hand or otherwise.
Find what drives you. That spark that keeps an eternal flame lit in your gut. The very thing that takes you away from the predetermined norm of nine to five and traffic lines and into your very own dream made reality. The greatest crime a man can ever commit is not at least trying to give wings to his own ideals of how he would live his own life on his terms. Who knows whether or not it will fly, but oh what heights you could attain if you only tried! With the worst case scenario often only being failure, the risk to succeed is always greater. Be smart, aware, but do not live in fear. Fear is often born out of a sense of misunderstanding, for many do not understand the value of success found in the greatest risks. While men would try and sell you the moon, be aware of what gain others may have off of profiting from your own gain or loss. Do not be skeptical of every opportunity but rather think of it from all sides of the board. And remember, moving a pivotal piece backward doesn’t necessarily mean you still aren’t moving forward towards victory and that at the end of the game, all the pieces go back into the same box.
To find and define your authentic self, I believe it is imperative we lose ourselves outside of the norm. That is to say one who never tests themselves will never fully gain the knowledge gained from pushing the boundaries of what we perceive to be our limits as human beings. Finding that definition should be thought of as a never ending journey of self discovery and it is one that should be taken faithfully and devoutly. For understanding yourself is paramount to loving the person you perceive as the authentic version of your own self which in turn will lead to an easier understanding and possible affections for other people who desire to understand you. Do not mock or feign love. In spite of affections spurned or a love being unrequited, do not let pessimism become the realistic perspective of love and it’s properties. We can only throw ourselves out there. Cold and naked. And hope, always hope, someone will arrive or be found to clothe us.
We are as plants nourished by the sun that is love. Without it, our roots hold fast to none. We grow contorted and our seeds scatter into nothing . Still, regardless of how devoid we are of this precious light, our gnarled branches will always reach out for even the faintest shimmer.
As the seasons find and leave us, each winter and spring imparting some new and learned truth, we carry with us now the experiences and teachings brought on with the new hue of foliage. And as the years pass, we may grow cynical. We may grow tired. Wearied from a life of constant labor. Our abundant questions may come to yield no answers. Our fruit once yielding to grand flavors may become tasteless. Our minds begin to entertain the notion that every voyage’s destination is only the inevitability of failure. This is a state of mind born from innumerable failures and incalculable loss.
Damn the loss.
Remove yourself from the shackles of the past and move forward. You’ll never love the same way again. You’ll never reach that point in your life you once had. This harsh reality is truth because if you are growing at all as a person, you will be far beyond that level you were before. And there will be new loves and new heights attainable to be experienced as the person you are now. Transformed from the crucial lessons born from the loss and failure you once feared so much. It’s the experiences that transpire outside the monotonous routines of our lives that test the limits of our vessels. If the lessons and mistakes are translated properly, your growth is only accelerated. The direction which you decide to take in that burst of momentum is yours to decide.
God, whoever or whatever you define him to be, if at all, exists to give us hope that there is a design and overall purpose to this life thrust upon us. And God bears a different name and face to the holder of faith. God can be love. Wealth. Children. Life. Even ourselves. Faith disguised as hope is essential and we all worship something. But there is a certain sense of absurd comfort that comes from the belief that there is a divine composer orchestrating the measures of the and space of our universe into a grand symphony.
And if there isn’t, who can really say?
For all is but an unsound theory proven only in the denouement of our stories. Until then, we can only strive to give ourselves a sense purpose and definition and write a story worthy of being told and play our own songs to add to the soundtrack of time.
The earth spins on a tilted axis. Perfection, in it’s definitive form, is unattainable a midst the chaotic orchestration that holds our universe in place. But with perfection being merely based off of individual perception, one can ignore this fact of absurdity should he so choose to. A man can see perfection in imperfection, and who could truly tell him otherwise? There are abundant horrors to be found in this modern waltz we call life. The sheer absurdity of which can cause a man to lose faith. In his god, in himself, and in the overall condition of man. These manifestations, the lesser demons of our nature, have been manufactured by unseen forces. Designed to keep you oppressed and burdened with all that can keep you instilled in a state of fear. And afraid, you would live safe and obey. You would find comfort in the small luxuries found in the dream sold to you. But to rid yourself of this American Nightmare, one must only open their eyes. To stand witness that life was not designed to be sold away for materialistic gain and to only find some semblance of freedom in the last winters of your life.
You must accept that life is not cruel, but that it is indifferent. Pathetically apathetic. But it is those who fight for life that live through the night. Life is but a manic parade. The stampede of which can trample you underfoot or carry you aloft to the destination of your dreams. To avoid losing yourself, define yourself. To survive, one must continually hold fast to the idea that love, brotherhood, and a self defined sense of purpose is cause enough to long and fight for life, liberty and seek salvation. Happiness is a revolt. An open rebellion, a coup d’etat against all that would seek to snuff out it’s flame.
There is more to all of this. There always has been. All you need to find it, is want it. With every fiber of your being.