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Prose poem of the day
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Published Sunday, September 09, 2012 @ 7:44 AM EDT
Sep 09 2012

Desiderata (Latin: "desired things") is a 1927 prose poem by American writer Max Ehrmann (1872–1945). Largely unknown in the author's lifetime, the text became widely known after its use in a devotional, after subsequently being found at Adlai Stevenson's deathbed in 1965, and after spoken-word recordings in 1971 and 1972. Click for full Wikipedia article.

Go placidly amidst the noise and 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 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 labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann (September 26, 1872 - September 9, 1945)


Categories: Adlai E. Stevenson II, Max Ehrmann, Philosophy


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Quotes of the day
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Published Saturday, July 14, 2012 @ 5:29 AM EDT
Jul 14 2012

Quotes of the day- Adlai E. Stevenson II:
 
Adlai Ewing Stevenson II (February 5, 1900 – July 14, 1965) was an American politician, noted for his intellectual demeanor, eloquent oratory, and promotion of liberal causes in the Democratic Party. He served as the 31st Governor of Illinois, and received the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 1952 and 1956; both times he was defeated by Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower. He sought the Democratic presidential nomination for a third time in the election of 1960, but was defeated by Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts. After his election, President Kennedy appointed Stevenson as the Ambassador to the United Nations; he served from 1961 to 1965. He died on July 14, 1965 in London, England after suffering a heart attack.

His most famous moment came on October 25, 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis, when he gave a presentation at an emergency session of the Security Council. He forcefully asked the Soviet representative, Valerian Zorin, if his country was installing missiles in Cuba, punctuated with the famous demand "Don't wait for the translation, answer 'yes' or 'no'!" Following Zorin's refusal to answer the abrupt question, Stevenson retorted, "I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over." In one of the most memorable moments in U.N. history, Stevenson then showed photographs that proved the existence of missiles in Cuba, just after the Soviet ambassador had implied they did not exist.

Stevenson was assaulted by an anti-United Nations protesters in Dallas, Texas, on October 24, 1963, one month before the assassination of Kennedy in that same city. A women struck him on the head with a sign, and a man spat on him and on a policeman. Amid the furor, Stevenson said of his assailants: "I don't want to send them to jail. I want to send them to school." (Click for full article.)

A beauty is a woman you notice. A charmer is one who notices you.

A diplomat's life is made up of three ingredients: protocol, Geritol and alcohol.

A hungry man is not a free man.

A wise man does not try to hurry history. Many wars have been avoided by patience and many have been precipitated by reckless haste.

Accuracy is to a newspaper what virtue is to a lady, except that a newspaper can always print a retraction.

After four years at the United Nations I sometimes yearn for the peace and tranquillity of a political convention.

All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions. All change is the result of a change in the contemporary state of mind.

America is a country that can choke on a gnat, or swallow tigers.

An Independent is someone who wants to take the politics out of politics.

Bad administration, to be sure, can destroy good policy; but good administration can never save bad policy.

Do not... regard the critics as questionable patriots. What were Washington and Jefferson and Adams but profound critics of the colonial status quo?

Every age needs men who will redeem the time by living with a vision of the things that are to be.

Flattery is all right so long as you don't inhale.

Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have no greater aim than a second car and another television set.

He who slings mud generally loses ground.

I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.

I have tried to talk about the issues in this campaign... But, strangely enough, my friends, this road has been a lonely road because I never meet anybody coming the other way.

I regret that I have but one law firm to give to my country.

Ignorance is stubborn and prejudice dies hard.

In America any boy may become President, and I suppose it's just one of the risks he takes.

In matters of national security emotion is no substitute for intelligence, nor rigidity for prudence. To act coolly, intelligently and prudently in perilous circumstances is the test of a man- and also a nation.

In quiet places, reason abounds.

It will be helpful in our mutual objective to allow every man in America to look his neighbor in the face and see a man- not a color.

It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.

Laws are never as effective as habits.

Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that he sometimes has to eat them.

Man has wrested from nature the power to make the world a desert or to make deserts bloom. There is no evil in the atom; only in men's souls.

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.

Nature is indifferent to the survival of the human species, including Americans.

Nixon is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump for a speech on conservation.

Nothing so dates a man as to decry the younger generation.

Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.

Power corrupts, but lack of power corrupts absolutely.

Public confidence in the integrity of the Government is indispensable to faith in democracy; and when we lose faith in the system, we have lost faith in everything we fight and spend for.

Some people approach every problem with an open mouth.

The best reason I can think of for not running for President of the United States is that you have to shave twice a day.

The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning.

The human race has improved everything except the human race.

The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal is the ultimate indignity to the democratic process.

The important thing is not to believe your own propaganda.

The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions.

The time to stop a revolution is at the beginning, not the end.

The tragedy of our day is the climate of fear in which we live, and fear breeds repression. Too often sinister threats to the bill of rights, to freedom of the mind, are concealed under the patriotic cloak, of anti-communism.

There are worse things than losing an election; the worst thing is to lose one's convictions and not tell the people the truth.

There is no evil in the atom, only in men's souls.

There is nothing more horrifying than stupidity in action.

There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody.

They pick a President and then for four years they pick on him.

Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse.

To strike freedom of the mind with the fist of patriotism is an old an ugly subtlety.

True Patriotism, it seems to me, is based on tolerance and a large measure of humility.

Understanding human needs is half the job of meeting them.

Unreason and anti-intellectualism abominate thought. Thinking implies disagreement; and disagreement implies nonconformity; and nonconformity implies heresy; and heresy implies disloyalty- so, obviously, thinking must be stopped. But shouting is not a substitute for thinking and reason is not the subversion but the salvation of freedom.

We can chart our future clearly and wisely only when we know the path which has led to the present.

We have confused the free with the free and easy.

We inherited freedom. We seem unaware that freedom has to be remade and re-earned in each generation of man.

We must never delude ourselves into thinking that physical power is a substitute for moral power, which is the true sign of national greatness.

What a man knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty is, for the most part, incommunicable.

When political ammunition runs low, inevitably the rusty artillery of abuse is wheeled into action.

With the supermarket as our temple and the singing commercial as our litany, are we likely to fire the world with an irresistible vision of America's exalted purpose and inspiring way of life?

Words calculated to catch everyone may catch no one.

You can tell the size of a man by the size of the thing that makes him mad.

You will find that truth is often unpopular and the contest between agreeable fancy and disagreeable fact is unequal. For, in the vernacular, we Americans are suckers for good news.


Categories: Adlai E. Stevenson II, Elections, History, Politics, Quotes of the day


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