Seen on a poster at my Aunt’s house…
- I saw this poem today on the wall at a family get-together, and when I got home this evening I looked it up online. It’s counsel seems good to me…
(something desired as essential)
Go placidly amid the noise and the 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 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 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 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 imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle to yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars and 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.
–Max Ehrmann, 1927. © Robert L. Bell
From the Alt.Usage.English FAQ: “Desiderata” was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann (1872-1945). In 1956, the rector of St. Paul’s Church in Baltimore, Maryland, used the poem in a collection of mimeographed inspirational material for his congregation. Someone who subsequently printed it asserted that it was found in Old St. Paul’s Church, dated 1692. The year 1692 was the founding date of the church and has nothing to do with the poem. See Fred D. Cavinder, “Desiderata”, TWA Ambassador, Aug. 1973, pp. 14-15.
Background info and poem text compiled from: http://www.geocities.com/lswote/desiderata.html and http://acadia.bu.edu/johnk_html/Philosophy/Desiderata.html