Ahh how sweet it is!!

Ahh how sweet it is!! That is how I tend to sum up my life in a few words. Plain and simple, life is wonderful! This site will give you just a sneak peak at my thoughts throughout my life. Love, Mel

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Location: Bountiful, Utah, United States

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

desiderata by max ehrmann

Max Ehrmann's inspirational poem - Desiderata

The common myth is that the Desiderata poem was found in a Baltimore church in 1692 and is centuries old, of unknown origin. Desiderata was in fact written around 1920 (although some say as early as 1906), and certainly copyrighted in 1927, by lawyer Max Ehrmann (1872-1945) based in Terre Haute, Indiana. The Desiderata myth began after Reverend Frederick Kates reproduced the Desiderata poem in a collection of inspirational works for his congregation in 1959 on church notepaper, headed: 'The Old St Paul's Church, Baltimore, AD 1692' (the year the church was founded). Copies of the Desiderata page were circulated among friends, and the myth grew, accelerated particularly when a copy of the erroneously attributed Desiderata was found at the bedside of deceased Democratic politician Aidlai Stevenson in 1965.
Whatever the history of Desiderata, the Ehrmann's prose is inspirational, and offers a simple positive credo for life.

desiderata - by max ehrmann
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 to 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 perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to 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 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.
(Max Ehrmann)

desiderata myth and trivia (allegedly..)
Max Ehrmann was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, on September 16, 1872. His parents were German immigrants. Ehrmann graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle in 1894, after which he studied law and philosophy at Harvard University.

Ehrmann returned to Terre Haute to practice law, following which (early 1900's) he began writing, apparently obsessively. Max Ehrmann was known as the 'Poet Laureate' of Terre Haute.

Ehrmann wrote many poems, although none became well known until after his death. Aside from Desiderata his most famous poem is A Prayer, written in 1906. Max Ehrmann originally copyrighted Desiderata in 1927 as 'Go Placidly Amid The Noise And Haste'. The copyright number was 962402, dated 3rd January.

Ehrmann included Desiderata in a Christmas message to his friends in 1933, and significantly never added any copyright notice, a factor which featured strongly in legal considerations in the 1970's about Desiderata copyright (more below).

US Army psychiatrist Merill Moore wrote in 1942 to Ehrmann that he used the Desiderata poem in his therapy work, and also wrote to Ehrmann in 1944 suggesting that the poem should be bottled and sold as 'Dr Ehrmann's Magic Soul Medicine'. Communications between Moore and Ehrmann featured strongly in legal considerations in the 1970's about Desidarata copyright (more below).

Max married Bertha three months before his death in 1945. Bertha Scott King Ehrmann was from New York; she graduated from Smith College, wrote, taught, and published a book called The Worth of a Girl. Three months after Max Ehrmann's death, Bertha published four of his books.

Max Ehrmann's widow Bertha published the Desiderata poem with some other of his work in 1948, in a collection titled The Poems Of Max Ehrmann. She re-renewed the Desiderata copyright in 1948 and 1954.

Bertha Ehrmann died in 1962, upon which the copyright ownership passed to her nephew Richmond Wight. Wight later sold the copyright for an undisclosed amount to Crescendo Publishing Company in 1975.

Seemingly in 1959 (some say 1957) Reverend Frederick Kates produced around just 200 copies of his inspirational works collection featuring Desiderata, which sparked the confusion and myth that endures today. By the late 1970's Old St Paul's Church was receiving 40 enquiries a week as to the origins of the Desiderata poem.

A copy of the Desiderata poem (a version linked to 1692 and The Old St Paul's Church) was found on Democratic politician Adlai Stevenson's bedside table after his death in 1965 - supposedly Stevenson was intending to use what he believed to be the ancient poem in his Christmas cards, and this much publicised discovery did much to increase the fame and myth of Desidarata.

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry kept a copy of Desiderata in his office. The Desiderata verse was a big selling Athena poster during the late 1900's. Desiderata is Latin and means 'things that are yearned for', which in the context of the poem more closely means 'essential things'.

Inspired by an Athena or similar poster, singer Les Crane used the Desiderata words in his 1971 hit pop record, for which he received a Grammy award for the 'best spoken word recording'. Supposedly Les Crane saw the Desiderata verse on a poster and believed the words to be in the public domain, but then (so the story goes) had to share his royalties with the then Desiderata copyright owners.

Amazingly there is some doubt today as to whether Ehrmann's final line of Desiderata began 'Be careful...', or 'Be cheerful..' Most modern interpretations, including the one here, use the latter.

Confusion reigns today as to the Desiderata copyright and usage and whether or not the poem is in the public domain. A key judgement was made following the Desiderata poem's publication in the August 1971 issue of Success Unlimited magazine, after which Desiderata became the source of a copyright court battle (Bell v. Combined Registry Co., 536 F.2d 164 - 7th Cir., 1976) between Robert L Bell (owner) and Combined Registry Company (publisher). The court decided on 14 May 1976 in favour of Combined Registry Company. Bell has however apparently succeeded since then with other claims, so caution is advisable if intending to publish or exploit the Desidarata work for profit. Look on the web for more precise up-to-date details about copyright and ownership.

Mary Frye's famous inspirational poem, prayer, and bereavement verse
Almost certainly Mary Frye wrote the famous poem 'Do not stand at my grave and weep' in 1932, however uncertainty continues to surround the definitive and original wording of this remarkable verse. Originally the verse had no title, so the poem's first line, 'Do not stand at my grave and weep' naturally became the title by which the poem came to be known.

Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905-2004) was a housewife from Baltimore USA, when a visiting friend's mother died, and this prompted Mary Frye to compose the verse, which she said was her first real attempt to write poetry. The friend was a young German Jewish girl called Margaret Schwarzkopf, who felt unable to visit her dying mother in Germany due to the anti-Semitic feeling at home. This led to Margaret Scwarzkopf's comment to Mary Frye, according to the apparent history of this, that she had been denied the chance to 'stand by her mother's grave and shed a tear'.

This seemingly was the inspirational prompt for Mary Fry to write the verse, which has for decades now touched and comforted many thousands of people, especially at times of loss and bereavement. Mary Frye, it is said, wrote the poem on a brown paper shopping bag. Apparently in interviews since writing the poem Frye said that the 'words just came to her', and it also seems clear that she wrote her poetry to bring comfort and pleasure to others, rather than to profit from its publication.

It's fascinating that the poem came into such widespread use, and this is perhaps because it was not conventionally copyrighted and published. At some time after Margaret Schwarzkopf's mother's death, friends of the Schwarzkopf family arranged for a postcard to be printed featuring the poem, and this, with the tendency for the verse to be passed from person to person, created a 'virtual publishing' effect far greater than traditional printed publishing would normally achieve. The poem, in its various 'original' forms has for many years been firmly in the public domain.

For many years (and presently still among many people) the poem's origin was generally unknown, being variously attributed to native American Indians, traditional folklore, and other particular claimant writers. The poem has appeared, and continues to, in slightly different versions, and there are examples also of modern authors adding and interweaving their own new lines and verses within Eyre's work, which adds to confusion about the poem's definitive versions and origins.

Whatever, the mystery seems first to have been solved when the poem was categorically attributed to Mary Frye in 1998, following research by Abigail Van Buren, aka Jeanne Phillips, a widely syndicated American newspaper columnist, whose 'Dear Abby' column seems to have directly communicated with Mary Frye concerning original authorship of the poem.
According to various sources (notably the CBC radio and TV station in Canada, whose presenter Kelly Ryan broadcast a radio feature called 'Poetic Journey' on 10 May 2000, telling the story of Mary Frye's poem) there are various 'definitive' versions.

This is the version of Frye's poem which featured on the postcard that was printed by friends of Margaret Schwarzkopf's parents. It was untitled:

(do not stand at my grave and weep)
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
This alternative 'modern definitive version', with slight variation in lines 9 and 10, was featured in Mary Frye's obituary in the British Times newspaper in September 2004, although no source is given:

Dr Stephen Covey's Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People®
Dr Stephen Covey is a hugely influential management guru, whose book The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People, became a blueprint for personal development when it was published in 1990. The Seven Habits are said by some to be easy to understand but not as easy to apply - don't let the challenge daunt you. The seven habits are a remarkable set of inspirational and aspirational standards for anyone who seeks to live a full, purposeful and good life. Covey's values are full of integrity and humanity, and contrast strongly with the colder logic- and process-based ideologies that characterised management thinking in earlier times.
stephen covey's seven habits of highly effective people®

habit 1 - be proactive®
This is the ability to control one's environment, rather than have it control you, as is so often the case. Self determination, choice, and the power to decide response to stimulus, conditions and circumstances

habit 2 - begin with the end in mind®
Covey calls this the habit of personal leadership - leading oneself that is, towards what you consider your aims. By developing the habit of concentrating on relevant activities you will build a platform to avoid distractions and become more productive and successful.

habit 3 - put first things first®
Covey calls this the habit of personal management. This is about organising and implementing activities in line with the aims established in habit 2. Covey says that habit 2 is the first, or mental creation; habit 3 is the second, or physical creation. (See the section on time management.)

habit 4 - think win-win®
Covey calls this the habit of interpersonal leadership, necessary because achievements are largely dependent on co-operative efforts with others. He says that win-win is based on the assumption that there is plenty for everyone, and that success follows a co-operative approach more naturally than the confrontation of win-or-lose.

habit 5 - seek first to understand and then to be understood®
One of the great maxims of the modern age. This is Covey's habit of communication, and it's extremely powerful. Covey helps to explain this in his simple analogy 'diagnose before you prescribe'. Simple and effective, and essential for developing and maintaining positive relationships in all aspects of life. (See the associated sections on Empathy, Transactional Analysis, and the Johari Window.)

habit 6 - synergize®
Covey says this is the habit of creative co-operation - the principle that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, which implicitly lays down the challenge to see the good and potential in the other person's contribution.

habit 7 - sharpen the saw®
This is the habit of self renewal, says Covey, and it necessarily surrounds all the other habits, enabling and encouraging them to happen and grow. Covey interprets the self into four parts: the spiritual, mental, physical and the social/emotional, which all need feeding and developing.

Cherie Carter-Scott's rules of life
Cherie Carter-Scott PhD is a very modern guru. Her theories explain our attitudes and behaviour with a special clarity, and provide a practical guide to behaviour and self development. Dr. Carter-Scott achieved her PhD in human and organisational development and for the nearly 30 years has been an international lecturer, consultant and author. She founded the MMS (Motivation Management Service) Institute and has been called a guardian angel to CEO's.

Carter-Scott's book 'If Life Is A Game, These Are The Rules' is essential reading if you are interested in behaviour, relationships, communications, and human personality. Cherie Carter-Scott's rules for life - also known as 'The Ten Rules For Being Human' and referenced in her book with Jack Canfield: 'Chicken Soup For The Soul' - are a map for understanding and pursuing personal development, and for helping others to understand and develop too. 'If Life Is A Game, These Are The Rules' is also commonly referenced book in the life-coaching industry.

Here is a brief summary and explanation of Cherie Carter-Scott's 'rules of life'.
cherie carter-scott's rules of life
(Carter Scott references this quotation:) "Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood." (Helen Keller)

Rule One - You will receive a body. Whether you love it or hate it, it's yours for life, so accept it. What counts is what's inside.

Rule Two - You will be presented with lessons. Life is a constant learning experience, which every day provides opportunities for you to learn more. These lessons specific to you, and learning them 'is the key to discovering and fulfilling the meaning and relevance of your own life'.

Rule Three - There are no mistakes, only lessons. Your development towards wisdom is a process of experimentation, trial and error, so it's inevitable things will not always go to plan or turn out how you'd want. Compassion is the remedy for harsh judgement - of ourselves and others. Forgiveness is not only divine - it's also 'the act of erasing an emotional debt'. Behaving ethically, with integrity, and with humour - especially the ability to laugh at yourself and your own mishaps - are central to the perspective that 'mistakes' are simply lessons we must learn.

Rule Four - The lesson is repeated until learned. Lessons repeat until learned. What manifest as problems and challenges, irritations and frustrations are more lessons - they will repeat until you see them as such and learn from them. Your own awareness and your ability to change are requisites of executing this rule. Also fundamental is the acceptance that you are not a victim of fate or circumstance - 'causality' must be acknowledged; that is to say: things happen to you because of how you are and what you do. To blame anyone or anything else for your misfortunes is an escape and a denial; you yourself are responsible for you, and what happens to you. Patience is required - change doesn't happen overnight, so give change time to happen.

Rule Five - Learning does not end. While you are alive there are always lessons to be learned. Surrender to the 'rhythm of life', don't struggle against it. Commit to the process of constant learning and change - be humble enough to always acknowledge your own weaknesses, and be flexible enough to adapt from what you may be accustomed to, because rigidity will deny you the freedom of new possibilities.

Rule Six - "There" is no better than "here". The other side of the hill may be greener than your own, but being there is not the key to endless happiness. Be grateful for and enjoy what you have, and where you are on your journey. Appreciate the abundance of what's good in your life, rather than measure and amass things that do not actually lead to happiness. Living in the present helps you attain peace.

Rule Seven - Others are only mirrors of you. You love or hate something about another person according to what love or hate about yourself. Be tolerant; accept others as they are, and strive for clarity of self-awareness; strive to truly understand and have an objective perception of your own self, your thoughts and feelings. Negative experiences are opportunities to heal the wounds that you carry. Support others, and by doing so you support yourself. Where you are unable to support others it is a sign that you are not adequately attending to your own needs.

Rule Eight - What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. Take responsibility for yourself. Learn to let go when you cannot change things. Don't get angry about things - bitter memories clutter your mind. Courage resides in all of us - use it when you need to do what's right for you. We all possess a strong natural power and adventurous spirit, which you should draw on to embrace what lies ahead.

Rule Nine - Your answers lie inside of you. Trust your instincts and your innermost feelings, whether you hear them as a little voice or a flash of inspiration. Listen to feelings as well as sounds. Look, listen, and trust. Draw on your natural inspiration.

Rule Ten - You will forget all this at birth. We are all born with all of these capabilities - our early experiences lead us into a physical world, away from our spiritual selves, so that we become doubtful, cynical and lacking belief and confidence.

The ten Rules are not commandments, they are universal truths that apply to us all. When you lose your way, call upon them. Have faith in the strength of your spirit. Aspire to be wise - wisdom the ultimate path of your life, and it knows no limits other than those you impose on yourself.

This summary is merely a brief outline and simply does not do the book justice, nor the wisdom within it. If you are interested in making the most of your life, and helping others do the same, buy Cherie Carter-Scott's book 'If Life Is A Game, These Are The Rules'.

Don Miguel Ruiz's - The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz's book, The Four Agreements was published in 1997. For many, The Four Agreements is a life-changing book, whose ideas come from the ancient Toltec wisdom of the native people of Southern Mexico. The Toltec were 'people of knowledge' - scientists and artists who created a society to explore and conserve the traditional spiritual knowledge and practices of their ancestors. The Toltec viewed science and spirit as part of the same entity, believing that all energy - material or ethereal - is derived from and governed by the universe.

Don Miguel Ruiz, born and raised in rural Mexico, was brought up to follow his family's Toltec ways by his mother, a Toltec faith healer, and grandfather, a Toltec 'nagual', a shaman. Despite this, Don Miguel decided to pursue a conventional education, which led him to qualify and practice for several years as a surgeon. Following a car crash, Don Miguel Ruiz reverted to his Toltec roots during the late 1970's, first studying and learning in depth the Toltec ways, and then healing, teaching, lecturing and writing during the 1980's and 90's, when he wrote The Four Agreements (published in 1997), The Mastery of Love (1999), The Four Agreements Companion Book (2000), and Prayers (2001).

Don Miguel Ruiz survived a serious heart attack 2002, since when his teachings have been largely channelled through seminars and classes run by his followers, notably his sons Don Jose Luis and Don Miguel Ruiz Junior. Like many gurus and philosophical pioneers, Ruiz has to an extent packaged, promoted and commercialised his work, nevertheless the simplicity and elegance of his thinking remains a source of great enlightenment and aspiration. The simple ideas of The Four Agreements provide an inspirational code for life; a personal development model, and a template for personal development, behaviour, communications and relationships. Here is how Don Miguel Ruiz summarises 'The Four Agreements':

the four agreements - don miguel ruiz's code for life
agreement 1
Be impeccable with your word - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

agreement 2
Don’t take anything personally - Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

agreement 3
Don’t make assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

agreement 4
Always do your best - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

(Joe J. and Barbara K. Christensen, Making Your Home a Missionary Training Center [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985], 54.)

Ten Ways to Cultivate Personal Spirituality

Rate yourself on a scale from 0 to 5 on each item with 0 meaning "no," 3 meaning "sometimes," and 5 meaning "yes, always, or completely."

1. Do I read scriptures daily?

We should "feast" upon the word and not just "nibble." (2 Nephi 32:3.)

2. Do I really pray and not just say prayers?

Am I really communicating and not just repeating trite expressions? (Alma 34:17-27; Matthew 6:7.)

3. Is my fasting meaningful?

Do I do more than just get hungry? (D&C 59:13-23.)

4. Do I go to bed early and get up early?

"Retire to thy bed early . . . ; arise early." (D&C 88:124.) President Harold B. Lee taught that more flashes of inspiration come early in the morning than at any other time of the day.

5. Am I essentially a happy person?

"Lift up your heart and rejoice." (D&C 31:3.)

"Be of good cheer." (D&C 68:6.)

6. Do I work hard?

"Thrust in your sickle with all your soul." (D&C 31:5.)

7. Am I more concerned about how rather than where I serve?

Remember that even the Savior performed the humblest acts of service. (John 13:1-17.)

8. Do I love everyone—even enemies—and keep romantic feelings in their proper perspective?

"Love one another as I have loved you." (John 13:34-35.)

9. Do I strive for unity with others as well as within myself—between my ideal and actual self?

"Be one, and if ye are not one, ye are not mine." (John 17:20-24; D&C 38:27.)

10. Do I share my testimony with others?

The Lord is pleased with us when we "open our mouths" and share with others the conviction we have. (D&C 60:2.)

There is a relationship between industry, honesty, and spirituality.

These thoughts are all from other wise people.

Love, Mel


Blogger Markham said...

I love this Dad, keep 'em coming!

9:50 PM  

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