Broad wisdom, good advice for Christmas Eve

The Ticker

December 24, 1992|By Julius Westheimer

On Christmas Eve, instead of writing exclusively about money, I start off with two pieces that I feel are appropriate for this day.

The first is a Christmas message I found in an old magazine many years ago:

"This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand. Flout envy. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Appreciate. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Deserve confidence. Take up arms against malice. Decry complacency. Express your gratitude. Go to church. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the Earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still once again."

Next, Desiderata, by Max Ehrmann, found in a pew of Old St. Paul's Church, Charles and Saratoga streets, in 1927:

"Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, 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; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others you may become vain and 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 disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. Do not distress yourself with 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."

BACK TO BUSINESS: Tomorrow night, "Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser" is titled "The Best of Wall Street Week," excerpts from the best shows since it began broadcasting in 1970. . . . Workplace Wisdom: "Don't wait for an annual performance review to tell an employee he/she is doing a great job. Praise promptly when you see someone doing things that you want to encourage." ("Motivation and Goal-Setting" by Jim Cairo, $7.95) . . . Local stocks reaching new yearly highs at midweek include Bell Atlantic, CSX, MNC Financial (Maryland National Bank) and Mid-Atlantic Medical. Duty Free International sank to a 12-month low. . . . Safety tip: "Don't throw a preapproved credit card application in the garbage if you don't want the card. A credit card thief who sifts through the trash and finds the application can send it in with a change of address and use the card he/she gets to make charges in your name." (Susan Weeks, Citibank) . . . Six year-end tax planning suggestions: Gather free tax publications from the IRS; get expert help; consolidate medical expenses; offset capital gains with losses; contribute to retirement savings; give appreciated securities to charities. . . . Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to all!

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