Deep Breath + Desiderata = Happy Weekend!

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I started this blog more than two years ago in the hope, among others, that it would help me keep better abreast of what I call my “Fodder Folder,” the place I stash all manner of Davidson and Davidson-related stories that cross my desk.

Alas. I can’t outsmart the Internets, nor even keep up with its ever-gaping maw for fresh content. Suffice to say that the Davidson stories and links that make it onto this pixellated page represent only the smallest smattering of super stories our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends are doing and being and living in this big, fine world. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it’s still beautiful, as Max Ehrman said so well in his 1927 prose poem Desiderata.

This Friday afternoon, as I clear the decks and my desk to make room for a week of vacation before school starts (freshmen arrive Aug. 22!), join me for a deep breath and a re-reading of Desiderata. And happy weekend!


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.


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