Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
And so our breakdown of Desiderata ends with these six words. They pretty much sum up the poem in just a few words. Each stanza has caution and exultation built right in. At the end of the day, you have to decide for yourself what is important and what matters most. But, aren’t these six little words pretty much how we live our lives?
There is a lot of darkness, sadness, brokenness and pain in the world. Be careful not to add to the ugly with unkind words, careless actions or thoughtless decisions. Be careful to not believe the lies that you’re told. Be careful with who you choose to love, who you choose to trust, what you choose to accept. Be careful when making decisions; use your head and your heart. Be careful because people will disappoint you; but don’t be a disappointment. Be careful because trickery abounds and pain is real. Be careful. Everyone won’t believe what you believe or accept you for who you are.
Strive to be Happy.
Despite all the junk that can happen to and around you, you still have the ability to control how you respond, what you say, and who you choose to let in to your life. Strive to be happy by putting others first. Strive to be happy by believing you’re worth everything. Strive to be happy by living a life that is honorable, good and kind. Strive to be happy in your job, in your home, and in your life. Strive to be happy by making a difference, by being real, by making mistakes. Strive to be happy by being kind to yourself.
In the end, either you win or the world wins. Choose the winner carefully; the choice is always yours.