The Adventures of Desiderata


From all the things I took leaving my parents’ home almost twenty years ago I have nothing but a few books and an envelope with quotes and messages I selected during years.
The ragged and partly torn, thirty-years-old envelope traveled with me for all those years going to different places, houses, apartments, changing addresses, companions, languages… moving from one country to another… Always finding a new drawer, a new place in a wardrobe to be hidden safely and then waiting for the appropriate moment to be revealed. 

One of my biggest treasures carefully folded and kept in it was Desiderata – the text written in the year 1692 by Max Ehrmann. Desiderata meant for me something more then just a long quote – it became a sort of introduction, the first step to that what I would call today a meaningful path of life.
Brought to the class by my English teacher, written on the black board in front of the 15-years-old students most of whom couldn’t care less, it immediately absorbed my attention.
For me that was it – the first step, the beginning of a life direction, the recognition of that what was important, the waking up of awareness of as yet unconscious mind.

I wrote it down, brought it home, typed the text on the typewriter and hung it on the wall. And after more than ten years I put it in the envelope and took it with me on the biggest Adventure of my life which was the life itself.

So there it is, 29 years later,  this time revealing itself to you.

desiderata foto

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, 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.”

Copyright ©2016 Monika Braun and Love it Now. All Rights Reserved.