Back in 2014, I wrote a series of columns in Serenity called Talk With a Townie, in which I in-depth interviewed local folks. This month, I am compelled to take a short excerpt from the one I did on Tupper Briggs and include it here, along with the poem that compelled me to do so.

“I have heard of this poem before and certainly of the first line, as a quote, when Tupper mentioned it. But when I Googled it, I became aware that I hadn’t ever read the whole thing. When I did (and I read it over and over), I realized that this was the greatest piece of wisdom held in just over 300 words that I have ever contemplated. It also dawned on me that (whether he realizes it or not) Tupper lives the doctrine laid out in this poem. Maybe he always has and that’s why he mentioned it to me. Regardless, everyone could take something away from it, so it’s recommended reading by Holly. And ultimately winds up being something real juicy that I took away from my interview with Tupper, a most cheerful and happy man.”

Desiderata Poem by Max Ehrmann

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; andlisten to others, even to 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 or 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 youin 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 in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.