Sharing wisdom

My very first manager at General Electric, my employer where I spent many years and where I retired, gave me a copy of a poster of “Desiderata”, a compelling poem written in 1927 by American writer Max Ehrmann. This poster was a treasured gift. I gently placed the poster in a folder at the very front of my desk cabinet and glanced at it from time to time. Through the years every word of the poem was set in every fiber of my heart. The poster is nowhere to be found now as the file cabinet got reshuffled as my career in the company changed, but the many embedded lessons remained and conjoined with homegrown wisdom of humility, generosity, pride and compassion. Here is the text:

“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”.

I come from a poor family who left the bosom of my parents at a young age, with the determination to better myself in order to be better for my big family and for others. The pride of having met many generous people when I came to the U.S., like my host family, Jaime and Dativa Millare, loving parents of Lynn and Mattie, my first GE manager and those who walked with me every day, encouraged and taught me, are my treasured gifts – they are the fruit of the wisdom shared by the poem, “Desiderata”.

Most sincerely,

30 thoughts on “Sharing wisdom

  1. Thank you so much for sharing Normita. One of my favorite lines is “be gentle with yourself” Sometime we forget that strength comes by taking care of our own physical, mental and spiritual needs. From that strength we can share and help others.

    The library association in our county has started nights called book dates. I think they sound like fun. Here was the latest from them. Sounds better than online dating.

    After the wildly successful book dating event in February, the staff at Reston Regional Library has decided to bring book dating to Reston Tuesday, June 18 at 7 p.m. A new way to share the books you love, learn about new books to read, make friends, start a book club or even find a love connection. Bring a favorite book or two, then join other attendees for one-on-one, timed meetings, followed by light refreshments and socializing with the whole group. Library staff will be available to assist and make reading suggestions.

    • This sounds like fun, Taylor. Book Clubs were popular, thanks to the stay home moms who met while kids were in school, but gradually changed due to demographic switch.

  2. Can’t believe it is June. The weather is so different than last. We are dealing with serious medical issues with my parents so will be on and off blog for awhile.

    Have you been listening to all the discussion on this breadwinner study? On a farm, everyone works so gender comparisons were not made. And my father had no choice having 5 daughters and no sons. I drove the tractor and did field work because he needed me. And both of my parents worked after we moved to town because that was the only way to make ends meet. I think if they banded all reality TV family and marital relationships would improve immediately. Too many people living in the shadows of the bizarre people in these programs.

    Breadwinning Wives and Nervous Husbands

  3. Good Morning, Villagers…cool breeze is back, mostly sunny skies, highs around 80 degrees!

    Taylor…sorry to hear about your parents…will be thinking good thoughts…take care of yourself and let us know how you’re doing.

    I’m not a fan of reality TV…as soon as the camera lights go on, people aren’t “real” people anymore…they take on a persona to get ratings at any cost…often, their humanity goes out the door and I don’t find it the least bit interesting to watch people destroy themselves and others. If a show doesn’t start out that way…soon they have to do something, anything, to keep their ratings or they’ll be cancelled…it’s like watching a train wreck in sssllllooooowwwww motion. Just observe people…when the camera comes out…things change.

    Normita…thanks for the change of thread…more words to live by…it’s a good reminder.

    Mary…Is the smoke from all those fires affecting you down south…it looks horrendous on TV.

    Enjoy your day…I’m happy to have a cool breeze wafting by…

  4. Hello My Village Family,

    I’m so sorry its its been awhile again its always so much going on i think i could write a book about it.

    Normita, i love the thread and the poem!

    Taylor.. i’m so sorry to hear about your parents and the health problems we will being praying for them!
    Mary..I hope your safe from the fires/
    Karel i’m not a big fan of realitly TV either 1
    Go.. i hope your doing well ?
    the kids are doing pretty good Sunnyjune had a graduation service for leaving preschool it was so cute and shes loving it and she is so smart. Star is going to the 4th grade and she loves school also. Shae is going to his 2nd year of high school and hes going good also and Shandy just finished her 1st year of college and did ok with it , she started her 1st job yesterday at Ross dress fpr less and she she likes its so far they are going to train her on thursday to be a cashier.
    I hope all is going well with everyone and its not that we haven’t been thinking about you all
    but we love you all
    Teri and The Village kids

  5. LOL i’m going to have to change my avatar!

    I noticed alot of mistakes in my post above sorry but i’m having alot of computer problems!
    I hope you all can read code up above LOL Sorry again


  6. Yes, I have a small layer of soot on my patio. I have cleaned it once and I noticed yesterday I need to do it again. did you know that we have received two letters asking us to join a class action suit because of this ? A bunch of lawyers see this soot issue as an opportunity to make some money. My question is who do they sue? The guys who started the fire? The local fire department? The local governments on what, dirty air from the fires?

    I don’t watch reality shows. They are just nonsense to me.

    Well, have you heard today’s news about the Clinton Obama deal? Seems that BillClinton truly sold his soul in making the speech he made at the Democratic Convention. The deal was help Obama, and Obama endorses and supports Hillary in 2016. But potus reneged, changed his mind, was going to endorse Biden, and Bill had a fit, so therein is the lovely, Kissy-Kissy interview with Potus and Hillary right after she left as SOS. and Bill is fuming over the latest disclosures on Benghazi. Told you so, Hillary is tanking. I think Billwants the WH back much much more than Hillary does. Hillary has to show her backbone. What a wus to let Bill make her deals for her!

  7. Taylor, thinking good thoughts on your parents.

    I think it’s too early to speculate on Hillary 2016. Won’t trust the totus on what direction he’ll go.

  8. Hi everybody. Teri, your life sounds like it is getting back to normal. What a blessing…Hugs and Kisses to all my village kids. Way to go, SunnyJune!

    I can not begin to write what I am feeling and thinking today. I suspected all along that the government had seriously expanded its listening and recording of American citizens. In the last years of my career, I had witness to the start of this, just could not believe that they would go to these lengths. When I read about the NSA facility in Utah, I knew it had happened.

    Here is what I think. Some of this is necessary. We must be aware of the threat of terrorism, and fight it on our land. But frankly, we have spent a lot of money for very little gain, and lost our liberty in the meantime. An automated data mining software system still cannot replace human Intelligence agents. There is still analysis required to identify the search fields, and assess the results, for further queries, etc. This is the “science” part. And I can believe that within the analysis involved there is indeed integrity to protect American privacy.

    In regards to the politics of this, we have all been witness to what the arrogance of power, greed, and conniving can do to our infrastructure of freedom. The sad truth is that this science has given the power mongers the ability to not only protect us from threats, but also to misuse at will to spy on us internally, if they so desire. The analysts take target orders from their bosses, and they produce analysis reports. They do not select the targets, unless they identify the target themselves, and then they need permission to proceed with any target. In this environment, there are no rogue employees. Hogwash! Having worked in this environment, you are very much aware that you have the knowledge to produce the science and the reports, but your requirements are driven from the outside, from the Pentagon, Congress, and the President.

    I saw last night that the cost of the system was around 20M. This is a multi-billion dollar system. Perhaps the operational costs are 20M a year, probably more like per month, but the development costs and the maintenance costs are astronomical.

  9. Good Morning, Villagers….it’s levels of gray, loads of clouds on the move, possible shower with lightning(hundreds of lightning strikes overnite)…highs in the low 70’s!

    I continue to be aghast at the news…on practically every level we have government out of control…where do we start to reign this behemoth in???!!!

    I read this over the weekend: “It may be that the strange synchronicity between the president and the permanent bureaucracy is mere happenstance and not, as it might sound to the casual ear, the sinister merging of party and state. Either way, they need to be pried apart. When the state has the capability to know everything except the difference between right and wrong, it won’t end well.” That from Mark Steyn…he has a way with words. We have people in power that insist they “know” what’s good for Americans, so anything they do is justified….that’s a recipe for disaster and we’re seeing and hearing about it on an hourly basis now…not daily, hourly…the overriding theme to me is government run amok…soo BIG it’s out of control and our liberty is disappearing. Both political parties are responsible for this mess…in many instances they have become part of the problem and not part of the solution….they can’t even see what they’re party to…so obsessed with keeping their power that they’ll sell out the America we love!

    Imagine if everything we type or every call we make is being logged somewhere…I’m a law abiding citizen, always have been…yet, I don’t want to be followed by phone, computer, car, email, etc….every move some government entities business. That is a recipe for disaster…people can be destroyed if their medical records are released, if associations become suspect, if blogging in a Village makes them suspect to the current administration, if donating to a cause makes them a rebel in the eyes of one political party or another….something is terribly wrong!

    Taylor….thinking about you and your parents…I hope things are going well…take care of yourself!

    Mary…the price tag for all that surviellance has to be astronomical and when people rely on data instead of “gumshoes” they end up missing the forest for the trees…their must be some way to balance both so we don’t end of with what happened in Boston and we protect law abiding citizens rights too!

    I feel so overwhelmed by all these scandals…they seem to be sooo important to the future of our country….it’s increasingly hard to keep up with what’s occurring…I doubt most Americans are even paying attention.

    Enjoy your day…

  10. Amen, Mary and Karel,

    I cant believe in America that they feel like the have right to listen, track, follow everything a person does its unreal to me they think this is normal!
    It just makes me sick all these scandles and they feel like ” Oh well” they will just get out of them.
    Where is the accountabilty! Hes not God no matter how much all of his followers think or tell him is!



  11. Hello villagers. I have been silent lately because I am overwhelmed with everything I am reading and hearing. I am crying for my country. I have had to withdraw, deep inside me. I just live my life as best I can, day by day.

    Now it looks like we are joining the war in Syria. But not for the right reasons. I feel like Vietnam all over again. I still remember the plane loads of American draped coffins. What have we wrought, dear God? It is a very serious time in this country, in the world.

    • I have in Minnesota since early June dealing with my mothers health. She is now under hospice care and luckily in little pain. It’s hard on everyone but especially my 90 year old dad.
      As a result I’ve been away from most news sources but was not surprised about the NSA overreach. The government should be data mining our lives. The entire Obama campaign made use of data mining techniques to target voters. Our laws have not come up to speed with technology.
      We need to keep our heads out of the sand or chasing dangling carrots. Private companies such as google and credit card companies have been doing it for years.

      Happy Fathers Day.

      • I meant to type that the government should NOT be data mining. I have fat fingers when using my iPhone

  12. Happy Fathers Day. Happy Grandfathers Day. Our Lucille is growing every day. We received the greatest picture yesterday. It is a picture of mom and baby ( in a cute pink cap) both conked out, napping in each others arms

    . Andersen. Go, r u there?

    Taylor, hang in there. Just stay close to ur mom. Our hearts are with you.

    I am back in the living, getting over the shock. Now I am willing to fight again. The most important thing right now is to keep us out of Syria. The thought of more American lives lost because of this millennium old stupid battle between the Sunnis and the Shias and oil reserves (China and Russian involvement). Makes me so angry is see red. If the Chinese andRussians want the Islamic oil, let Russian and Chinese soldiers die. Why should our children die? We must stand up and fight this. Americans are no longer dependent on this oil. The new discoveries here have made us independent. Let it stay that way. Sarah Palin said yesterday Let Allah decide this fight. I agree.

    I believe Snowden. What he said is right on, he is telling the truth. Just yesterday I read that NSA admitted yesterday to what Snowden said. Analysts are, without reference to a court order, selectively reading and hearing what they want. The secret court and ( guess who?) the DOJ have decided this is within the FISA legalities. Even though in outside testimony they all deny this. Cheney yesterday called him a traitor, why does his opinion matter anymore? Snowden saw what was happening, how we were all being duped in the name of American defense, and exploded. They say he had inside avenues to voice his concerns. Oh yea! And with that would come being immediately marched out and discredited. He outmaneuvered them, and they want his head.

  13. Happy Fathers Day,

    Mary i’m glad you are back i’m with you i’m trying to get over the shock of all the news!
    Normita, i hope you , Bob and Shirley had a great time at brunch!

    Taylor, i’m still praying hard for your parents!

    Love you all


  14. Good Morning, Villagers…sunshine blesses the day, highs around 80 degrees…looking for a cool down tomorrow!

    Taylor…I’m so sorry to hear about your mother, I’m praying for her. Please take care of yourself and your family….you’re so blessed to have so many shoulders to lean on…take care!

    Data mining ordinary law abiding citizens by the government(and corporations) shouldn’t be allowed…before long they will control what you think and what your preferences are. The Democratic Party in collaboration with Eric Schmidt of Google data mined voters in several areas then calculated the places to “invest” in to get maximum votes…they have altered the voting paradigm. Now Schmidt has taken those geniuses from that venture and formed a company that is involved nationwide in support of democratic candidates….the ones with the money and the technology win the elections…the citizens are being left in the dust. This is why people are beginning to feel alienated from the people who represent them….they’re beginning to think they can’t make a difference….this is terribly dangerous territory.

    To me, Snowden is not who he seems…there are many options available for whistleblowers besides going to Hong Kong….something’s not right about him and his background has character issues that can’t be denied. Granted, he has highlighted an issue that begs for discussion…but, I don’t trust him and I think we’ve only begun to be impacted by what he’s done. So I’m taking a wait and see attitude for the most part….very skeptical.

    Enjoy your day…

  15. I am praying for this country. I am not listening or reading anything much. Every God given right has been strewn to the wind, and if this immigration bill passes, we can all kiss the United States as we know it, good bye.

    Sorry to hear of hospice, illness and losses. I lost my nephew last month and Six Toes almost bit the dust. He is okay now.

    I think about all of you.

  16. This is the definitive interview on the NSA surveillance scandal.

    Snowden is not the first, but his approach ( not going through the system) has succeeded whereas the other whistleblowers failed, one even got hauled into court under the espionage act, turned in by the courts that were set up to protect the whistleblowers.

    Like I said, if he had worked through the system, he would have been marched out, and immediately discredited.

  17. Okay. Let’s all call our Senators and Representatives and tell them “NO” to the Immigration bill that will ultimately gut the middle class.
    I know some of you have those CA dems to call, but call them anyway. They need to hear from us. I have John McCain. (always get a voice mail for him) Leave a message anyway.

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