Desiderata by Max Ehrmann is a 1927 prose poem. ("Desiderata" Latin: "desired things")
4. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.
If a loud person is one who is obnoxious, prideful, arrogant, inconsiderate, egotistical, pushy - taking up all the oxygen in the room - I pay attention to how their behavior is affecting me. It's the same with aggressive persons. If they are intimidating, bullying, insensitive – taking up all the oxygen in the room - either type sends me to my place of sanity, solace and reflection.
But loud and aggressive persons being vexatious to the spirit is a warning that I had not really considered. The warning is to protect my spirit. The overtone of the Desiderata is spiritual. This is the first time the Desiderata speaks to the status of the spirit, but not the last. We are responsible for recognizing threats to our spirit. If you consider yourself to be a spiritual being as I do, then spirituality is intertwined with identity. So when I protect my spirituality, I'm protecting my identity. My identity is associated with my P.R.I.V.I. My P.R.I.V.I. is based on my spirituality.
Individuals respond to loud and aggressive persons differently. Individuals see and experience these characteristics differently. I must recognize that someone whom I may consider to be loud and aggressive may not seem so to you. I must respect that you are having a different experience than I – which sends me to my place of sanity, solace and reflection.
Loud and aggressive persons are only one example of vexatiousness to the spirit. Sanctimonious and self-righteous persons can be vexatious to the spirit as well. Stingy and greedy persons can be vexatious to the spirit. Even the dull and ignorant can be vexatious to the spirit.
We are responsible for recognizing what is vexatious to our spirit, then taking action to protect our spirit. We do this by exerting the qualities of the spirit to bring us to understanding by introspection; give us direction by asking; experience enlightenment by listening - causing us to act with equilibrium.
Thanks for reading. What are your thoughts?
Dedicated to my sons Jibri and Chris, my privilege and blessing. EcwmB