Max Ehrmann’s inspirational poem – Desiderata was written in 1927. The myth of the poem is that it was written in 1690 by an unknown author. Nice story. Anyway, depending on how you look at it, the Desiderata can be considered either a credo to live by or a poem of inspirational drivel.
If you’ve never heard of, or read “Desiderata”, here’s a link to the poem and a bit of it’s history: http://www.businessballs.com/desideratapoem.htm .
Below is my response to Mr. Ehrmann’s poem. Please keep in mind that although I am cynical, I am not pessimistic. To put my comments in perspective, you should, if you have not already done so, read the Desiderata…
A CYNIC’S RESPONSE TO THE DESIDERATA
By: Jake Jakubuwski
Go placidly (Even if it means doubling your normal dose of Xanex!) amid the noise and haste, and remember that peace, of any sort, is always short-lived — so keep your mouth shut!
There is no possible way to be on good terms with everyone — no matter how hard you try. If you speak your truth quietly and clearly, some idiot will shout you down — so why waste your breath?
If you listen to others, especially the dull and the ignorant, you only get confused or bored. They might have their story to tell but it may be tainted by delusional thinking and fantasy. That’s especially true when it comes to listening to politicians.
Avoiding loud and aggressive persons is a sound idea since such avoidance may keep you from punching their lights out and winding up with an assault charge!
If you compare yourself with others, the chances are you will be selling your self short. And, remember: No matter how humble your career, you can always get a degree in business manage-ment at the local community college!
If you ain’t happy with your job look for another one, shoot your boss, or start your own business. There are always alternatives. Just remember that there ain’t nobody who is going to look out for your interests as well as you will.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. Therefore never extend more credit then you can afford to lose. And remember that there really is no such thing as a “Free Lunch!” There truly may be a bunch of folks in the business world that profess high ideals. However, there are many more that don’t have any virtues, scruples or morals whatsoever — so watch those folks like a hawk!
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. You might as well since Mother Nature is going to take care of most things like good eye sight, strong bones, good hearing, steady nerves and plaque-free arteries anyway. So, stop fighting the inevitable and resign yourself to the onslaught of time. Pretend you’re being graceful about it if you must — otherwise go kicking and screaming into the not-so good night…
A merry heart might “doeth good” like a medicine — but distress, misfortune, stress, fear and loneliness are tough conditions to overcome. All of them are very real possibilities as you age — gracefully or otherwise! So is spending your final days in a nursing home. As the Red-hatters say: “Pull up your big purple panties and deal with it!”
You might as well be gentle with yourself since you didn’t ask to be here to begin with. You may be a Child of The Universe and you might even have a right to be here (whether it’s against your will or not) but that doesn’t make the trip any easier.
Therefore: be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, it is well to remember that life is a terminal disease and none of us are going to get out of this deal alive.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. If you believe that you’re most likely severely delusional already!
So try to be cheerful. Strive to be happy. Keep a smile on your face and everyone else will wonder what you’ve been up to!
Jake Jakubuwski (February, 2013)