With all the Russian bad press you've been describing in your newsletters over the past few months, I decided to take the liberty of sending you this old American poem. Why? On a personal level, I've found it very helpful to read several times over the last 25 years. Perhaps your readers may have the same reaction that I did, reading it so many years ago. In today's world, the words still ring as true as ever, perhaps your readers may enjoy it as much as I.
The poem is called "Desiderata", and I believe it was found in a old Christian church in the city of Baltimore, State of Maryland, USA back in 1692:
Go placidly amid 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 ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
thy are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself to others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser
persons then yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes
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.
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 years,
gracefully surrending the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in
But do not distress yourself with dark
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less then 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 labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace
with your soul.
With all its shame, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
I know that many of your female clients don't have computers to read this, but it could be printed for them to read in your offices'. I've always found it to be inspiring to read, perhaps you readers will also. Poka.
Thank you, Kevin!
It is a wonderful poem. We will necessarily hang in our office!
Dear Julia, Slava and Chanceforlove gang,
A BIG THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for the excellent delivery service and the beautiful pictures you sent back to me of my lovely, Gulnara. She told me later how much the gifts meant to her. Thanks, Slava, for reminding me of that special Women's Day, as the flowers blessed her, too. I also talked on the phone with her and sang happy birthday in English. She did not understand the song but loved it anyway!
The flowers looked great, as did the cake. Gulya said the cake tasted good, too. The pictures demonstrated even more to me how beautiful Gulya really is!! Wow! That is a great touch! Your taking pictures for us is going the "extra mile." Bravo!
God is good!
Keep up your fantastic work. You take pride in serving us and your labor of love shows it. God bless you all.
Really the 8th of March is a very important holiday in Russia. The photos reflect only a short moment of joy a woman has, and most part of it remains off-camera. It is a pleasant job – to give presents! :)) Women rejoice at them like children!
Make gifts: without any occasion, just to lift mood. It is a powerful secret weapon in international relations. Make pleasant little surprises: cards, photos. Say compliments. Make your girl feel loved!