Words for a good life. The power of words to move us should never be underestimated. I finally sat down with the wife to plan my funeral this week, and wow what an adventure. Talking this through with my wife was strangely liberating. I have never felt so loved.
The show is not about my funeral but my relationship with a piece of text I first discovered in my late 20s. Do you have a special poem or piece of writing that moves you?
OK, to put the record straight, I have no intention of shuffling off just yet, but preparation is everything and leaving a document for my family to follow does give them something to use or build on once I have passed.
A bit of context, my wife is training to be an Interfaith Minister and she had to complete a funeral assignment, and it was decided with my agreement that I would be a good candidate for her.
Personally, I think it made it a more challenging exercise. In our conversation, we looked at the practical processing of my body. Burning will release far too much carbon, so we have found a beautiful green burial ground.
The moving part of the exercise was choosing music and words. Especially when I thought of including Desiderata (full text below).
I discovered it in my late 20s, and rereading it made me realise that I have been on a life, passion and business mission for over 30 years. This piece speaks to me. It is almost my ten commandants for life.
Words for a Good Life
On the show, we explore how connecting through text like this is so powerful. How Life is in 3 Acts, and there is also some news and a free offer that might be of interest to those with business interests. It is near the end if you want to skip through.
Here is the link to Jane’s show:
This is the original text from the book where Desiderata was first published.
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.
by Max Ehrmann ©1927
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