With the continuation of my summer clean-out (which is soon to conclude, along with the season itself), I came across yet another treasure this week. It’s a rather yellowed, scroll-type document which was initially discovered in Old Saint Paul’s Church, Baltimore; dated 1692.
Its content is just too good not to share with you, some 318 years later, my beloved “Life Notes” readers. And so, here goes:
Go placidly amid the noise & haste & 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 & clearly and listen to others, even the dull & ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud & aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain & bitter, for always there will be greater & 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 & 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 imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue & loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the tress & 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 & aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
I surely don’t know where my treasured scroll will be discovered, or who will discover it, 318 years from now, but the thought of it is pretty intriguing. Will this message continue to transcend the test of time such that it still makes a connection with the heart and soul of another human being?
Beyond that, I ask myself the broader question (and invite you to do the same): “What’s my message, the one I’d like to imagine resonating with someone, if not the world, some 318 years from now?
If you have an answer and would like to share it, I’d love to hear from you. You can post it in the "Comments" section of this blog entry on Life Notes or send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Life Touch Coaching, Smyrna; dated 2010)