TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA - I was back at Indiana State for homecoming weekend and while I was there, I visited a familiar, and favorite place of mine.
Since I was a little kid, I've always respected the places I'm at. I've always felt that no matter where I am, I am where I am supposed to be. While I was at Indiana State University, the Scott College of Business was where I spent a lot of time. Not only did I spend time inside of the building, a lot of time was also spent outside the building.
Adjacent to the business school is a statue of Max Ehrmann sitting on a bench, he's writing, he's thinking, two things I often like to sit and do in solitude as well.
Max Ehrmann was a poet born and raised in Terre Haute. The words from his most popular poem, The Desiderata, are etched in stone all around the brick plaza that surrounds Ehrmann's statue.
Each day I had class, I would wander around outside and find some lines from the poem that applied to my life that week. Here's an instagram post from September 20, 2016.
What I'll do now is go through the poem, just as it is laid out around Max, and share some of my thoughts when I read it.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
I feel like everyone has something to say, everyone is making noise, but if you’re able to cancel out the noise (both positive and negative) and keep moving forward, you will continue to keep your peace. The noise will ALWAYS be there, the speed of life might seem too fast, but relax, slow down, be quiet, you're alright.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
I have no problems with no man. I find no benefit in being on bad terms with anyone, and that's how I will continue to look at life. HOWEVER, do not surrender, do not allow others to walk over you.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Speak your mind, believe in YOUR truth, and be open to new truth. Respect everyone, there are lessons to be learned from all stories that are told.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.
Vexatious is a good word, had to look it up the first time I read it. What Max is saying is, avoid overly aggressive people, always in your face with bad energy, they annoy the spirit. I couldn't agree more.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
There was a guest article on the site on few months ago titled "Beyond Comparison", and it follows the theme of this line. Why compare? Just be the best version of you, comparisons invite a false reality.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Take the time to enjoy and celebrate your accomplishments. Also, be sure to keep striving to meet your goals, each success contributes to the overall success of the plan. Even though we don't exactly know what that plan may be yet.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Work, be successful, and be humble. Your work ethic and ability to complete the task is something that can never be taken from you.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is...
People are SCAMMERS, lol they'll look to take advantage of you. But don't forget that the majority of people are good, don't lose faith in the natural spirit of humanity.
...many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Everyone wants to be great, well at least they should, and although it's difficult, it's very achievable. All around us there are people accomplishing what is perceived to be impossible.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Be you!! Don't look to please others, look to please yourself, that's how you'll keep your peace.
Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Love is love, and no matter what your feelings are about it, love will always surround us. Do the things you love, be around the people you love. Why would you not be? You can bring love into any situation.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
Even though I am only 23, I am gracefully growing older, I am learning from my days. My experience in life thus far keeps me from losing focus. I can withstand whatever may be thrown my way.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Keep bad thoughts out of your head, they normally come about when you're feeling bored and lazy. Don't get bored and lazy.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
We are often our toughest critics, relax, be gentle! You're good homie, just stay the course.
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.
One of my favorites. We all belong here. WE ARE IN THIS BITCH! Everything is happening just as it should, don't worry too much, enjoy how it all unfolds.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
Another great one! Whatever your views are on God, or whoever you choose to worship and seek guidance from... be at peace with Him, we all have different religions. Be at peace with what keeps your spirit accountable.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
Peace is a motif. No matter what you want to accomplish, keep your peace. DO NOT sacrifice your peace.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
There's always going to be failure and bad news. It's all part of the world's beauty, appreciate it. "Smile through the bullshit", you can control your own happiness.
Desiderata is Latin for Desired Things
At the end of the day, what is that you desire?