This thing called life. It can be brutal and hard, and yet sometimes it can be so appealing. Of course, it’s never a smooth road for any of us as we all have our good days and our bad times. As such, it’s tempting sometimes to look over to the familiar “neighbor’s” side of the road and see their grass looking greener. But is it? Perceptions could be deceiving, my friend.

Therefore, when we don’t appreciate our very own path, the little things in life, the people, the ordinary moments, the simplicity of living, we tend to glance at the others to seek comparisons. But are we sure that they live a sweeter existence? That they have everything that we don’t?

It’s so easy to judge, to make assumptions, and to think that someone has a better life than we do. And you know what, maybe some of them do, but we don’t know what it took for them to get there. We’re not aware of their struggles, their pain, their small unique victories, and we were not with them on their journey. We all experience life differently, and not all of us accomplish things at the same time.

That is there are no rules on how to live your life. And if there are – let’s break them! Because I think that would be a more exciting way to live anyway. 

So today, I lovingly say, let’s banish the envy, and let’s try to stay focused on our journeys, our own extraordinary, distinctive adventures. And when you wake up today and start your day – look around you, my friend, make a mental gratitude list of all the things you have in your life, including a place to live and food to eat. Many on this planet still don’t have what we do: their own homes, nutritious food, proper medicine, and necessary fundamental human rights to live in dignity.

And it’s already 2020.

Ponder about this for a moment.

And while you’re thinking, take a look at the piece of old literature below. It’s called “Desiderata.” The author wrote the poem a long time ago, but the advice he provides still paints useful words of wisdom. And even today, it’s an excellent reminder of how to remain happy in spite of life’s difficulties.

Photography by Mohamed Nohassi

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the 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 to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious 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 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 in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.[3]

Max Ehrmann, 1948

Desiderata” (Latin: “things desired”) is an early 1920s prose poem by the American writer Max Ehrmann. Although he copyrighted it in 1927, he distributed copies of it without a required copyright notice during 1933 and c. 1942, thereby forfeiting his US copyright. Largely unknown in the author’s lifetime, its use in devotional and spoken-word recordings in 1960 and 1971 called it to the attention of the world


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