The Trees and the Stars

I saw a TV program on Morgan Freeman the other day and he talked about his decision to go into acting and how, sometimes, you have to yield to Providence. He’d asked for a promotion at his office job, and his boss told him no, because she knew if he ever got the chance, he’d leave for an acting career.

And he said that was Providence.

I’m more of the Han Solo school of thought (when he said “there’s no mystical energy field controls my destiny!”) but I really like Morgan Freeman, and I really liked what he said. And I think sometimes we hear a thing at the most opportune of times.

He also mentioned that his favorite poem was “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann. Today (and maybe from now on) it’s my favorite too. So, here’s to Mr. Freeman, to sudden misfortune, to peace, and Providence.

Desiderata

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 to 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 perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to 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 in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann c.1920

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Filed under Poetry, Writing

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