“Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.”
This opening line from Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata jumped out at me today. As we have turned the corner at Thanksgiving and head to New Years, the “noise and haste” seems to kick up a notch, or two, or three, as the noise level would rise as one approaches the finish line in a race. Lots of things are clamoring for my time, my attention, my efforts, and it is easy, so easy, to lose myself in the process, to just duck my head and make it through focused solely on getting there.
I like the subtlety of Ehrmann’s words. He doesn’t tell us to BE silent. That might be taken as yet another voice amongst the “noise and haste.” Instead, he tells us to “remember what peace there MAY BE in silence.” It is more a suggestion than an order. That remembrance may send me to a quiet corner, or it may just cause me to reflect a moment, to take a deep breath and center myself so that I can take the next step with a bit more awareness of the world around me and realize (again, for the zillionth time) that it ain’t all about me.