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The Universe Is Unfolding As It Should

After this year, it might seem not just ironic but ridiculous. See what I mean in this week’s edition of “Isn’t That Ironic?”

Those of you near my age may remember this poetic piece of prose. Like millions of youths in the 1970s, I had this poster on my bedroom wall. I listened to the recording on my favorite radio station. It resonated with my soul back then, and it still does.

This one post (on December 29, 2020) is doing double duty—for Christmas and New Year’s. (Both fall on my usual blog posting day.) It’s a “close enough to sacred” reflection on this weird Christmas and also a help to placidly face whatever 2021 may bring.

One might be able to see all kinds of irony in this: that something from so far in the past might be helpful in dealing with the future, or that I could think putting Christmas and New Year’s together makes any sense at all. After this year, I feel so rudderless I’m not sure what irony is anymore.

But I can think of no better way to end this crazy year of 2020 in peace, and start the next year of 2021 in hope, than with this wisdom. I give it to you with my blessing.

Desiderata (Things Desired)

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 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 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.

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.

Max Erhmann


God Bless You!

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