Thinking back to my previous years in English tonight, there was one passage that Ms. Harteloo had my sophomore class respond to, and it has always stuck in my mind. Everything about it was perfectly stated, and it held a lot of meaning for me. I randomly remembered it tonight, and wanted to go back and read it again, and see if my opinion on it is any different now that I am a senior. I will post it here… I would suggest reading it. 🙂
Desiderata (Desired Things)
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 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.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical 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 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 careful. Strive to be happy.
© Max Ehrmann 1927
Never before have I read something and agreed with everything that was said. These words that are written are so full of truth and logic and if everybody lived like this, I feel as though the world would be a better place.
I think the part that speaks to me the most would have to be: “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” To me, this is a very important part of growing up, and I can see it even more clearly now as I read the same words two years later. It is a necessity to be self-aware and realistic in the sense that nobody is perfect, and there is no reason to compare your life to somebody else’s. We all want what we cannot have, however, if we were able to attain somebody else’s life, we’d soon realize everyone has their troubles; the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
In these final moments of high school, and the remainder of the year, I want to live a positive lifestyle, and try to rub off on those around me by being a good role model. If I were to leave a legacy behind, it would be to live such as this passage portrays, as it has many worthwhile lessons that we could all learn from.
Strive to be happy. 🙂