So I don't suppose I have to tell you that lately, it seems that there is nothing but Absolute Grim on the news.
I'm guessing that for you, like me, the news is harshing your mellow. Probably so much so, that you find yourself avoiding the news at all costs. Or, again, if you're like me, you're torn between really not wanting to know anymore, but also wanting to know if there's a chance that there's at least a glimmer of good news on the horizon, so you peek through your fingers at the television or computer screen before being met by horrifying images, forcing you to duck behind your hands again.
It's enough to get a person down, it is.
Whenever it starts to feel like there isn't any possible sign of hope, I remember the following poem. I first read it when I was about 14 years old, and while I've never been a huge fan of poetry, I don't know that I've ever read more hopeful words. So today, Love Thursday, I share them with you, in the off-chance you need a bit of cheering up.
Or at the very least, you need to rest your hands from covering your eyes so tightly.
Happy Love Thursday, friends.
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.
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.
Strive to be happy.
~ Max Ehrmann
Image: Alex's cucumber plant photographed with Nikon D300 and my ancient 50mm manual lens