Desiderata by Max Ehrmann is a 1927 prose poem. "Desiderata" (Latin: "desired things")
20. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
This instruction expects that we are laboring and aspiring in spite of the noisy confusion we encounter along the way that will provoke our souls. It directs us to continually synthesize what we've learned about ourselves, our careers, our P.R.I.V.I.
This is the first time Max Ehrmann uses the word “soul”; and the second time using the word “noise”; however, he uses the word “spirit” three times, once in conjunction with noise.
Below are three definitions of soul and spirit.
1. The part of you that consists of your mind, character, thoughts, and feelings. Many people believe that your s____ continues existing after your body is dead.
2. The immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life.
3. The non-physical part of a person which is the seat of emotions and character.
In my reflection on soul and spirit, I admit that it's hard separating the two. Both have quality, are non physical, inherent, and proprietary. Our soul and spirit are ours to understand, nurture and protect. We're responsible for keeping peace with our soul; it's not our soul's responsibility to keep peace with us. Keeping peace with our soul is keeping peace with our truth.
We determine if we're at peace with our souls by asking ourselves that question. We can ask ourselves that question when we're happy, satisfied, grateful, depressed, struggling, angry, when we feel like we've lost our way. Sometimes the answers are clear and forth coming, sometimes not. The profound move is that we dared to ask.
“Whatever [our] labors and aspirations, the answers will serve to inform and guide us in “the noisy confusion of life.”
Thank you for reading. What are your thoughts?
Dedicated to my sons Jibri and Chris, my privilege and blessing. EcwmB