We, as diverse deaf people, are all the sum of a larger body — the DEAF. We are the sum of all kinds of separate, yet inter-dependent parts. We are individuals and systems swimming in a wholly fluid, fluctuating and changing universe. We are illusively separate in our individual essence, yet we are ALL profoundly connected. Everything DEAF is part of you and me, and we are each a part of the greater whole.

I have been both HEARING and DEAF. In both life experiences, I have learned that it is integration, not isolation, that actually works to create health in any system. In my experience, the key to survival as a whole is adaptation.

To heal any part of the larger body, the dysfunctional system must be worked on as a whole. We cannot fix the “bad back” by working solely and extremely on the “bad back.” Each and every part of the larger body, must bend, let go, open, and release in order for the pain to be reduced. In this way, the larger body or system will be restored to health and the sum of its’ parts will function in peace. Adaptation is the major concept that we must learn and practice if we want to survive as a species.

In 1927, Max Ehrmann wrote a famous, inspirational poem called: Desiderata. Desiderata is Latin for “desired things.” Ehrmann’s prose poem is a beautiful declaration of what is essential to one’s life and how to live peacefully.

In light of the heated discussions on DeafRead lately about deficit thinking, with diverse groups of deaf people — consciously or unconsciously — pitting themselves against one another, I decided to make and post this video clip below using Ehrmann’s poem. The point of this video is simply to show that I, for one, am choosing to focus my energies on developing personal integrity, adaptation, inclusion and compassion for others. You, me, we are all a sum of the great body. You, me, we are all SUM-BODY DEAF.

13 Responses to ““Desiderata”: Things to be Desired ~”

    LaRonda, I have had this on a wooden plaque on my wall for more than 30 years. When I moved, it moved with me. I used to have it on display in my entry hallway in Vancouver in my condo, now it is in my husband’s office (which “daylights” as the laundry room). When I am doing my housework (when!) I often stop and read it once again. I love the way it is written, it has a little “tune” all of it’s own.

    Many thanks for sharing, I never would have thought of it!


    You still amaze me…..you still leave me speechless…..this is
    B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L-L-Y true!!!

    Thanks for setting this up………we are all Sum-Body!! :-)

    Beautiful! Thank you for that inspiration.

    This is beautiful!! Didn’t it used to be a song at one time way back in the 70s? The pictures you chose to go with it were perfect in every way!! I’m speechless. Thanks so much. :-)


    I appreciate it that you share “Desiderata” with the readers on your
    blog. I thought it was (still is) one of the most beautiful cards I received from my friend for my graduation.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.


    Hi LaRonda,
    Great poem…believe I have seen parts of it here and there, but don’t think I saw it in its entirity. Those things are always good to reflect upon especially when there’s tension and strife in one’s life or in the community one lives in. Would like to see some specific situations/examples described and how exactly that poem could make us create ideal solutions AS DEAF PEOPLE for our future Deaf generations. But maybe it’s supposed to be left as is….in its mystique for us to meditate upon?

    Beautifully said!

    I agreed with you *EVERY* words what you said. You are my inspiration as always.

    I don’t necessarily agree with Ella and DE’s views. Deficit thinking is relating to the “mentality”, it has *NOTHING* to do with the hearing loss and bloggers’ writing issues.

    Happy Holidays! Looking forward to hearing from you. :-)


    White Ghost

    That’s one bodacious video!

    Beautiful Poem ~~ You make my bright smile and inspiration :)

    Amazing and we will always need you! Hugs from me to you!

    Such words of wisdom. Wonderful!

    Absolutely beautiful! This was just what I needed on a chaotic morning!

    Thank you everyone, for your sweet comments. You are my inspiration!

    ~ LaRonda

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