The Deployment Diary

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Day 229 - Wisdom from MIL

My evening had plans of an early slumber lol. MIL (mother-in-law) called a few minutes to ten. We talked for hours about everything from fear to craft projects. It appears that although bumpy in the beginning of this deployment, our relationship has gotten back to where it once was.

Our conversation turned to politics as it usually does. My MIL is a diehard lefty. An admitted Tree Hugger, who even has a subscription to Mother Earth News.

I, on the other hand, am a gun owning southern republican, who even has a membership in the National Rifle Association. Rarely in years passed have we agreed much in the politics department.

However, in recent years, the lines have blurred. I think we both realize that this is a war of epic proportions. Not because the man we both love is in Iraq fighting the war, but because we can see clearly the broader war on terrorism - its importance and how it could impact our future and the future of our children.

MIL shared the following with me and I thought it is wonderful enough to want to share here:

Go placidly amid 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 vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and 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 with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Hoping everyone has a good upcoming week. It will be week 34 for us. Eighteen more weeks to go. Hopefully....

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