Desiderata - Stanza 5

by Max Ehrmann

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Liz
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Desiderata - Stanza 5

Unread postby Liz » Fri Mar 25, 2005 9:00 am

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You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Chocolat
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Unread postby Chocolat » Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:19 pm

I equate this stanza with the grace of maturing and growing older, wiser and taking comfort in wisdom of years of experience. Freeing oneself from the ego is the key, yet knowing thyself, loving thyself and trusting thyself will open the door via strength of spirit. Love, laugh and have faith is what this poem describes to me and after reading it over and over, I can see Johnny following these important words in his choices and disciplines. These are very wise words to live by and I'm pleased to share our thoughts together.
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Unread postby lumineuse » Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:27 pm

I agree that it is about growing old with grace. But I also think that this stanza talks about guilt and fear. I think many people torment themselves with the things they believe they have done wrong, or things they wish they had done - with feelings that they have somehow failed as a person. I think this verse cautions us not to torment ourselves that way. To be forgiving of ourselves, be "gentle" with ourselves.
"Oh, good!........ No worries, then."

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Unread postby fansmom » Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:29 pm

As a worrier, I am always trying to rid myself of dark imaginings, but it ain't easy. According to my mother, my great-grandmother said there was always something to worry about--and if there wasn't, she'd worry about why things were going well.

And as someone who has lost about 100 pounds in a year-and-a-half, that "wholesome discipline" and being gentle with oneself is excellent advice as well.

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:34 pm

fansmom wrote:As a worrier, I am always trying to rid myself of dark imaginings, but it ain't easy. According to my mother, my great-grandmother said there was always something to worry about--and if there wasn't, she'd worry about why things were going well.

And as someone who has lost about 100 pounds in a year-and-a-half, that "wholesome discipline" and being gentle with oneself is excellent advice as well.


Wow, Fansmom. Kudos to you. What an accomplishment! Drinks all around. :bounce:

I'm a worrier too and can relate to your great-grandmother's words. :banghead:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby luvdepp » Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:38 pm

Chocolat wrote: I equate this stanza with the grace of maturing and growing older, wiser and taking comfort in wisdom of years of experience. Freeing oneself from the ego is the key, yet knowing thyself, loving thyself and trusting thyself will open the door via strength of spirit. Love, laugh and have faith is what this poem describes to me and after reading it over and over, I can see Johnny following these important words in his choices and disciplines. These are very wise words to live by and I'm pleased to share our thoughts together.

Beautifully said Chocolat. I agree that as we grow older, we can let go of ego and be more comfortable in our own skin, more accepting of who we are and be content with that.
I also can see what luminese has said about fear and guilt and letting go. I think that is much harder for some people than for others. As we grow older, I think it's important to be able to move past old hurts and feelings of failure to be able to be at peace with ourselves and the people we are close to.
fansmom ~ what a great accomplishment! :cool:
and Liz, the picture today is beautiful :cloud9:
"So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself, who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on the shore and merely existed." ~HST~

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:43 pm

I belive the first part is about growing old gracefully too, and using what you have learned along your road to understand there will be stumbling blocks but you have the wisdom to deal with them.

The second part, don't borrow trouble.


fansmom wrote: According to my mother, my great-grandmother said there was always something to worry about--and if there wasn't, she'd worry about why things were going well.


This is my mother, just the opposite of me. I have finally learned to let it go and not try to fix whatever the current worry is because another one is just around the corner! :eyebrow:

"Be gentle with yourself" like you said lumineuse, don't be hard on yourself, allow yourself to make mistakes and to grow. No regrets.

fansmom, way to go!!! :cool:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:44 pm

"Nuture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune."

This is not an easy thing to do. I think it comes from having lived life. I think that living through hardships is what gives one the strength. But I also believe that having a spiritual strength will get us through.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby fansmom » Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:45 pm

Liz wrote:Wow, Fansmom. Kudos to you. What an accomplishment! Drinks all around. :bounce:

Only if the drink is unsweetened green tea! :lol:
And thanks!

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:46 pm

fansmom wrote:
Liz wrote:Wow, Fansmom. Kudos to you. What an accomplishment! Drinks all around. :bounce:

Only if the drink is unsweetened green tea! :lol:
And thanks!


You must have a lot of willpower.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Desiderata stanza 5

Unread postby gilly » Fri Mar 25, 2005 7:38 pm

I like the part about dark imaginings.we all have these and sometimes it's hard not to give in to them. But the key,lies in the last line....be gentle on yourself,forgive yourself. :angel:

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Unread postby Gypsylee » Fri Mar 25, 2005 9:13 pm

Wow Fansmom!!! I thought I was doing good losing 25! That is some willpower you have. Congratulations!

"Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth"

Hopefully we have learned something from our years on this earth. I also wonder if gracefully surrendering things of youth means accepting you are getting older and losing the youthful appearance as well.

I think the last part has to do with taking care of yourself, eating properly, getting enough sleep because when you are fatigued you are less capable of coping with things.

I used to worry a lot. I played the "what if" game. I don't know how I did it, but I restructured my head to a "go with the flow" attitude. Don't worry about tomorrow for today is enough for you to deal with. Take one thing at a time.....baby steps. I guess that ties in with being gentle with yourself.
"In the time of your life, live....so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." Saroyan

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Unread postby deppraved » Fri Mar 25, 2005 9:27 pm

Be gentle with yourself--perfectionism is like an illness, and sometimes we, especially women, beat ourselves up far too often and too brutally, weakening our sense of worth. I am trying to be mindful to model tolerance, to show it to myself and let others see it's ok not to be so judgemental.
You make a mistake, you learn from it, and you move forward.
I like being 50 years old, and I daresay I won't mind, if my health holds out, being 60, 70, 80.....
you couldn't pay me a zillion to be younger again. :cool:

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Unread postby fansmom » Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:18 pm

I have some willpower. My daughter and I are doing Weight Watchers together, and having the support (and the supervision!) is what has kept me going. I have about 15 to go, and believe me, it gets harder the closer one gets to the goal. Losing 25 is very impressive, Gypsylee.

We've talked a lot a Weight Watcher's meetings about the dangers of perfectionism.

The Zone has helped, too. Sometimes my avatar can look so reproachful.

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Unread postby luvdepp » Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:26 pm

deppraved wrote:Be gentle with yourself--perfectionism is like an illness, and sometimes we, especially women, beat ourselves up far too often and too brutally, weakening our sense of worth. I am trying to be mindful to model tolerance, to show it to myself and let others see it's ok not to be so judgemental.
You make a mistake, you learn from it, and you move forward.
I like being 50 years old, and I daresay I won't mind, if my health holds out, being 60, 70, 80.....
you couldn't pay me a zillion to be younger again. :cool:


So true deppraved. I just received this in an email from my mom's very cool 70 year old cousin. I thought it was applicable to today's discussion.

OLD AGE

The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.

Old age, I decided, is a gift. I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body- the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to overeat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this! world t oo soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read until 4 a.m, and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60's, and if I at the same time wish to weep over a lost love, I will. I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten - and I eventually remember the important things. Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when a beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. I can say "no", and mean it. I can say "yes", and mean it. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what w ill be. And I shall eat dessert every single day.
"So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself, who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on the shore and merely existed." ~HST~


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