Dan Has Some Wise Advice for KGUA #7

Today’s KGUA writing suggestion asks the writer to begin with this prompt or include it within the piece.

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since… (realizing limiting this to my father may not be relevant to some, so please use that as a metaphor or in a way it makes sense to you.)

Thankfully, KGUA allows me to color outside the lines.  I share what was read on KGUA on June 1, 2020.

Some Advice from My Younger and More Vulnerable Years

In my younger and more vulnerable years my reading of the Desiderata gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since my college days as a Sun Devil at Arizona State University.

Displayed in the paraphernalia shops along Mill Avenue in Tempe (and by that I mean the shops dealing in supplies for Mary Jane), the Desiderata spoke to my uncertainty of who I was and what I was becoming.  To this day, I still have a framed poster of this nearly one hundred year old wisdom, which mistakenly was thought to have been posted on the front door of an Anglican Church in 17th century England; fact is, the Desiderata is the work of the poet, Max Ehrmann in 1927.

To this day, I know this poem by heart, and even recited it at my sister’s wedding at her request.  Listen to the poetry of its rousing start.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.  Even today, that speaks to the noise all around us from those selling us fear by the bushel.

The poem continues to build with the advice to avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. 

Later it adds the classic line, You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees in the stars.

But the line that spoke to me fifty years ago and continues to live within is Do not distress yourself with imaginings.  Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

As I look back I was a teen and twenty-something who could conger up a world of fear around every corner and see self-doubts with each interaction; I had no idea there was another way than a fear-based life.  In time and with practice, I am now less likely to go to a worst case scenario.

Though by no means fearless, I am now more likely to pause and listen to my inner voice.  It leads me to my truth.

Desi full text

4 thoughts on “Dan Has Some Wise Advice for KGUA #7

  1. Very thought full, Dan. And examining yourself at a young age. Anything that your father said, that you might use? My father didn’t give advice, and sadly, I hated his drinking too much to listen. But he was loving and kind, demonstrative before it was “in’”. I can’t imagine what life would be like with your dad a your principal, but I did had classmates who did, and they seemed fine.

    Have you heard of Enneagram? I just ordered a book – more of this knowing yourself.

    It’s June 1. Do you have more grandchildren yet?


    • My father modeled more than said. His encouragement over time mattered greatly. Being shy, I found it challenging to have my dad as principal. I did follow him into education but knew being a principal didn’t fit my skill set. I don’t know of Enneagrams. Tell me more.

  2. Thanks for posting the Desiderata in its entirety as I’d never read the whole piece. It’s heartbreakingly beautiful, enough to make one weep, especially considering what’s happening in today’s world. The go-to book in my youth was Gibran’s “The Prophet.” Seemed everyone found something of value in that popular book. Thank you, Hannah, for the friendly, funny note. Remember when we got in trouble for selling homemade beanbags to the boys in 6th grade and they started a war on the playground?

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