The Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

“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 the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations 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 labors 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.”

A Series of Unfortunate Events

In the span of two and a half months, I have been robbed twice.

The first time was in the city – the clean, business area where everyone is dressed in suits. I stopped at Starbucks after getting off the metro, and between paying for my drink and entering my office building, my wallet was pick-pocketed. Although buying a deeper purse with shorter shoulder straps and a zipper seemed like a good precaution after the first incident, those safety measures meant nothing the second time. I was in the suburbs where a friend and I went for a walk around a lake, and I forgot my purse in the backseat of my car. It was a sitting duck for a thief. Someone smashed the window, reached in, and snatched up my purse.

I have repeatedly fallen prey to a false sense of security. The city people around me looked upright and sophisticated, so I trusted them. The park was empty and beautiful, so I didn’t think twice about where I left my purse.

Here are a list of lessons I’ve tried to take away from these experiences:

1. I need to be more cautious and aware.

2. LET GO. All things are temporary. Objects and money are replaceable.

3. I’ve learned how to immediately address bank fraud.

Anyway, after traveling Europe, the UK, and Egypt, I am robbed twice near home. What are the odds?

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© Salma Warshanna and bottledships, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Salma Warshanna and bottledships with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.