Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Desiderata

I was raised by parents who grew up in California in the 1960's, and a parent who attended Berkeley at the height of the hippy movement in 1968, so its no surprise that the Desiderata was displayed on the wall in our home. Growing up, I was impressed by the simple wisdom of its words, and how the truth contained in that document could guide my family for good. Later when my father passed away, my mother and I felt it was very fitting to print the text on the back of his memorial service program. It is my new project to memorize it in its entirety. I'm doing pretty well so far.

This means of course that I was successful in memorizing Doctrine and Covenants 121:42-45. I feel that these two spiritual thoughts are connected, in this way:

Both offer guidance for interacting with others in many life situations: parenting, marriage, peers, business associates, advocacy efforts. It is these situations that I encounter most frequently, and where I feel that I need to improve. There is much I want to accomplish and it almost always requires cooperating with others to accomplish that goal. I need this direction most, I believe, in my parenting as I strive to treat my children with love and kindness and teach them the lessons that are important in life.

Of course, as I lament frequently, getting advice and direction on what to do in any given situation is easier than finding the "how-to." The How to is so often situation specific, nuanced and subtle that the how to much be felt out and be personal to the one figuring it out. I pray frequently to have the insights to do just that.