Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Uplifting The Spirit

I received an email yesterday that contained some wise words from Robert Louis Stevenson, and when I read them it reminded me of my most favourite wise words, ones that gladden my heart and make me feel warm inside. A guy by the name of Les Crane released a wonderful spoken recording of this with musical backdrop back in 1971, I used to have an old 45 record of it that I played repeatedly until it fell to bits.


"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 ignorant;
They too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious 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 council 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 healthy 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 in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy."

Author Unknown, although first copywrited by Max Ehrmann in 1927.

And if you are interested, these are the wise words of Robert Louis Stevenson


1. Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.

2. Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything, and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.

3. Don't take yourself too seriously. Don't think that somehow you should be protected from misfortune that befalls other people.

4. You can't please everybody. Don't let criticism worry you.

5. Don't let your neighbour set your standards. Be yourself.

6. Do the things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.

7. Never borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than real ones.

8. Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish jealousy, enmity, grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.

9. Have many interests. If you can't travel, read about new places.

10. Don't hold post-mortems or spend your time brooding over sorrows or mistakes. Don't be one who never gets over things.

11. Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.

12. Keep busy at something. A busy person never has time to be unhappy.


katelnorth said...

Thanks for that - I haven't read through the whole Desiderata in years (though when I was in college a good friend had it framed on his bathroom wall & I used to read it all the time). But I always remember the start, especially when I see the word placid used anywhere...

Fel said...

Finally had time to read this - thanks!
Nr. 12 by Mr. Stevenson is a very helpful one. (As are the others, of course.) Whenever I feel sad and depressed, I try to get myself up and clean up somewhere, sort things etc. Always helps - though I should probably to it the other way around and clean up before I start feeling sad. :P

Laney said...

Wonderful words to share. Thank you.

Carmel said...

Hello Dy,
Like you, I adored that recording and hadn't thought of it in many years. When I was in Year 10, we were all given one of those plaques with Desiderata on it. I kept it for a very long time.
Thanks for the memory and the reminders. Both are still a great code to life.
Carmel - your "retireda' angel.

Dy said...

Hello Carmel, how nice of you to drop by! :-)