“Desiderata”: The Last Part of Max Ehrmann’s Great Prose Poem

Part Three, the final of this week’s pieces on Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata poem. (See Part One and Part Two at these links.)

XI. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Wendy Lustbader, gerontological social worker and author of Life Gets Better: The Unexpected Pleasures of Getting Older, on an important finding: “Life gets better as we get older, on all levels except the physical.”

Need some assistance with a “positive aging” attitude? Try http://www.healthyaging.net.

XII. 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.

From the Calm Clinic:

Both those with anxiety and those with paranoia often worry about worst case scenarios. For example, a child with anxiety would worry that their parents are going to get hurt in a car accident. A child with paranoia may worry that someone is after their parents to hurt them. Both are fairly similar. Many of those with anxiety do worry often, especially about irrational things. Those with paranoia also tend to assume the worst, believing that these dangers are destiny.

Want to determine your level and type of anxiety? Click on this test at Calm Clinic.

XIII. 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.

A key scene in the acclaimed movie The Help in which housemaid Aibileen (Viola Davis) gives one of her repeated and ongoing messages of encouragement to the child of her employer: “You is kindYou is smartYou is important.”

XIV. 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.

Dazzling photos of various places in our “beautiful world”:

XV. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

For some quick tips on how to achieve this:

For further information about the Desiderata poem, click on Desiderata.com.

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