Each year I decide on a topic for the blogs I write. Sometimes I get off the beaten track, but this year the pathway is clear. “Expect the Unexpected” is what I’ve chosen. For some time, I’ve wanted a tag line for my writing and since I write more than one genre, this seemed like a good tag line and topic for this year’s blogs.
With the pandemic and all that has come with it in 2020, the tag line could mean a lot of things in 2021, but I think it stands for hope – the hope that the world will not go back to normal but will go on to better things. Maybe mankind has learned a few things and maybe we will try harder to take care of ourselves and each other.
So, to begin the year let’s Expect the Unexpected and learn to live kindlier. Max Ehrmann said it best in 1927 when he wrote a poem about living a good life.
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, 1927
What unexpected things are you doing this week?