Desiderata 710.5

In 1927, Max Ehrmann gave us timeless advice in a poem called “Desiderata” (Latin for “things desired”):

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 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 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.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

Comments 3

  1. Thanks for this message as I set down to a well earned sleep. A simple checklist for a life well led. And deserving a space in this universe is so often forgotten and yet is so comforting to be reminded of…
    Thank you for the peace you have provided tonight.

  2. My life long friend introduced me to your commentaries at a crucial time in my life. They have brought me insight and hope, but today I re-read your posting of the Desiderata. This is a poem I used to know by heart, I thrived to live by and somehow forgotten. Seeing it again, the verses coming back to me so vividly, flooding my mind and body with contentment, has brought peace to me once again as it settled in my bones. I wish everyone the peace and serenity that you may find within yourself. L.

  3. I used to have this on a big poster in my dorm room in college. What a delight to rediscover it. I am making a copy for myself to enjoy once again. Thank you so much!

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