No need to be perfect to be beautiful


An small old house in Trogir on the hills of the island Ciovo, Croatia.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

– Max Ehrmann, excerpt from the poem Desiderata (1927) (full poem below)

Go placidly amidst 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 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 labours 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. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

 

EDIT:

Claire O’Brian felt inspired by this picture and wrote a poem that shouldn’t just be in the comment section:

A roof. A garden. Which one? Oh, either.
Or both. When it rains, maybe neither.

A house, I think, but still a tree:
The flowers are its memory.

Inside here is outside there –
Your dream was right: the world IS square.
This other sky is green and brown.
Hey! There’s no such thing as upside down
.
We don’t need that fence right there,
All this time, its been a chair –
Oh, just put it anywhere
Inside here is outside there.

Here is human liberty:
The one I must make sure is free
is always you, and never me.

Everyone protects the vine
when everyone becomes the tree.

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25 thoughts on “No need to be perfect to be beautiful

  1. Lovely picture. There is something so poignant in the fact that the house looks to be in disrepair and yet the wisteria is still gracing it perfectly, as if it doesn’t care. It looks a bit like a constable painting.

  2. Perfection is so overrated. I can’t believe this beautiful, amazing poem. Thank you. It beats so much I’ve read lately by the modern experts. And I love this theme you’re on of pairing photos and verse. Bravo.

    1. I was quite amazed by that find as well – it is always amazing what you find by chance on daily basis – makes you wonder what else is out there and how much you miss

  3. Wow! Nice photo! Feels nostalgic. It makes me remember Heidi by Johanna Spyri…And the poem’s wonderful too.

  4. I really just want to step inside, or drink a nice glass of lemonade sitting on the stoop under the wisteria – what a beautiful place! May I share this (with links and attribution, of course) with my readers in a Wordless Wednesday post? You can see examples of similar posts here and here. Thank you for your consideration – and for posting your outstanding work here!

  5. It just goes to show how arbitrary everything really is. Your yin and yang photo made me want to write a poem for you. It’s not at all meant to intrude into the great poem that lives in your peice. It’s just, you know, hanging out – like over there somewhere.

    A roof. A garden. Which one? Oh, either.
    Or both. When it rains, maybe neither.

    A house, I think, but still a tree:
    The flowers are its memory.

    Inside here is outside there –
    Your dream was right: the world IS square.
    This other sky is green and brown.
    Hey! There’s no such thing as upside down
    .
    We don’t need that fence right there,
    All this time, its been a chair –
    Oh, just put it anywhere
    Inside here is outside there.

    Here is human liberty:
    The one I must make sure is free
    is always you, and never me.

    Everyone protects the vine
    when everyone becomes the tree.

    .

    1. I will put your poem up in the original post if that is ok with you 🙂 – thank you very much! feels great that someone feels inspired by my work and uses it to make something new!

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