When we we in Tennessee last month, I found a plaque with an interesting poem on it in the gift shop of the Lost Sea Cavern. I thought I would share what it says, because it is pretty deep. I typed it up the way it was written, which means it all runs together. But it is meant to be taken as a whole, and one profound thought connects to the next. Being that it was found in a 17th century church, it was probably meant to be a combination, poem, prayer, chant; or maybe a sermon.
I challenge you to read this and really take it in, and not have your spirits bolstered. If you are not reminded that you can get through what there is to get through, if you remember that there is a purpose, and to stop and enjoy the little things, and remember what is important in life, then there is not much hope for you.
GO PLACIDLY AMONG THE NOISE AND HASTE, & 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 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 & 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. EXCERCISE 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 & DISENCHANTMENT IT IS 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 IMAGININGS. MANY FEARS ARE BORN OF FATIGUE & LONELINESS. BEYOND A WHOLESOME DISCIPLINE, BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF.**YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE UNIVERSE, NO LESS THAN THE TREES & 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.**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 & ASPIRATIONS, IN THIS NOISY CONFUSION OF LIFE, KEEP PEACE WITH YOUR SOUL. WITH ALL ITS SHAM, DRUDGERY & BROKEN DREAMS, IT IS STILL A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.**BE CAREFUL.**STRIVE TO BE HAPPY.**
FOUND IN OLD SAINT PAUL’S CHURCH, BALTIMORE, DATED 1692