Sunday 20 September 2009

Cakap cakap....Desiderata

What makes me cry? Yesterday when we went on Skype to talk to my daughter and her family in Toronto – I cried when I saw our grand daughter singing to us  - sharing her toys with us and blowing us kisses. Aaahhh the wonders of cyberspace. My wife played catch ball with Isabel – she threw the ball at the computer and my wife caught it. My daughter showed us the first winter clothing she had bought for Izzy – and Izzy knew it was hers – lovingly caressing the coat. Our son in law was busy putting a bed they just bought from IKEA. They were well.

But those were tears of happiness and yearnings to be with them. And the tears were inside me. Have you not cry inside you? Not because you did not want others to see you cry but to let others see you cry at that moment would not be appropriate. I do that a lot. When I saw the reunion of Christian the Lion with his previous owners whom he has not seen for a while – I cried inside me. When I see the American bombings of Vietnam many years ago during the North South conflict I cry inside because those thousand of bombs exploding are exploding on towns, villages and houses killing many thousand of people. When I see the suffering of people in Sudan I cry. To cry inside you is achingly hard to do because it takes a lot out of you. It hits your whole soul and you take a few minutes to recover. But you feel better for it. Better because you know that you care, that you can relate and that the sufferings and the happiness of those around you is also shared by you with them.    

Then after these episodes I usually allow my mind to meander to distant recesses of my head. I start to reflect on the things around me. What I have gone through my life. Why is it that people hurt most those very people that they should love best? Why Families are at loggerheads with each other, brothers against brothers, sister against sisters? Why husband and wives who were once so much in love now dislike each other with venom that could literally kill a cobra? I wish I could talk with these people and get inside their head and understand where they are coming from.

Then I look at my own brothers and me and I realize that we have not met or spoken with each other over the last twenty years.  The ‘whys’ are immaterial? But it happens.

And so I resolve that with my own family, no matter what, I will do all I can to make sure that we are there for each other. No issues, no personal ego, nothing will come in between us. It will not be easy but we have done well over these last thirty over years ever since they came into our life. I am 63 and my wife 64. We have been married over forty years. Some were good and a few hard – more hard then bad. We do not have long to go and I know that despite the odds and whatever we have been through, we are good with our Family. For that we are grateful. 

-- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --

Go placidly amid the noise and the 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 vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or 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 as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly 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 dark 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. 


  1. Not all of us can make earth shaterring impacts on the world.

    We only try the best we can.

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