The 90 year-old poem “Desiderata” which is Latin for “Things Desired” goes like this: “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 the dull and 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;
The prose poem Desiderata was written in 1927 and made famous in popular culture in the early 1970’s when Les Crane released a spoken-word recording of it that made Top 10 on the charts in Canada, the U.S., the UK and Australia. The text of the poem was widely distributed in poster form as well. Leonard Nimoy recited it on his 1968 album, “Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy” calling it “Spock Thoughts”. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, in response to his government losing the 1972 federal election reassured the nation with a line from the poem, “the universe is unfolding as it should”. Actor Morgan Freeman when interviewed in 2012 by Oprah Winfrey expressed how deeply the poem Desiderata shaped his life.
Today is payday for many of us who are paid either semi-monthly or bi-weekly. Unfortunately, many people exist payday to payday in this country of ours and after bills are paid, the fridge and kitchen cupboards are replenished and the gas tank is topped up, there isn’t much left over to last the next two weeks. New income data released this week from Statistics Canada indicates the split between rich and poor in Canada has not been fixed. The liberals election promise (one of them) was to make sure poorer Canadians started sharing more in the wealth and that we don’t have tax advantages going to the wealthy.
I see the health care debate….argument is more like it….rages on in the United States. Bernie Sanders wants universal Medicare similar to our system while some of his fellow senators just want to preserve the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, and the republicans who control congress and the White House want to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something new.
I’ve talked before about how the way we educate children has changed since I was a student. My generation was immersed in the basics, colloquially referred to as the three “R’s”, reading, writing and arithmetic. Some of us baby boomers get by quite nicely, thank you, not having been educated in the modern era where it’s hard to fail, high school math confuses everyone including some teachers, and cursive writing (longhand) is disappearing.