It was popular back in the 70’s and was played a lot on the radio. It is a prose poem written by Max Ehrmann of Indiana, in 1927. One line of it stood out to me even back when I was a teenager:
‘Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth’.
Sounds so simple does it not? Like a natural process that one would follow given the inexorable passing of time.
But, are we ever really ready to welcome the process of ageing? Are we not in fact in considerable denial as to that time in our lives? Could you ever really imagine yourself as an older person when you were young?
Judging by the efforts made by so many to look, to dress, to body-modify, to behave and to seem other than their age, I think we enter the second half of life quite unprepared, if not overburdened with dark premonitions. Ageing with grace, dignity and prestige is not a part of our everyday vernacular.
People are now seeking guidance through counselling as to how to navigate their own ageing journey. An external agent’s counsel is welcome and useful because ageing does not receive positive press in our society and its hallmarks are often poorly restricted to notions of loneliness, degeneration and dependency. It is otherwise eschewed, denied and hidden away. Hence we have very poor expectations and it is possible these prejudicial views may become a fait accompli.
In the next edition I will look at enhancing our general view of ageing.
For now, for your inspiration, the full version of Desiderata can be accessed at:
Michael is a Counsellor and Psychotherapist offering one-on-one sessions and couples therapy. For bookings & enquiries please contact Michael on 0411 537 394.
Appointments are available Mon & Fri at Bardon Counselling & Natural Therapy Centre and Tue, Wed & Sat at Osteopathy on James in New Farm, Brisbane