Wednesday, May 22, 2013


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.
By: Max Ehrmann
This poem means a great deal to me.  It was written in 1927 and introduced to me 10 years ago in my Advanced Studies class my senior year of high school.  The lady who taught the class was also my AP English teacher that year.  Mrs. Stoup was by far my favorite teacher of all time.  She smiled a lot.  She laughed a lot.  She had no tolerance for students that weren't interested learning.  In this Advanced Studies class, each day she would pose a question and ask us to write an answer it.  She never read them.  They were just to get our minds going.  Some of the questions were "Are leaders made or born?"  "What makes a hero?"  "What are your prejudices?"  "What freedom do you value the most?"  "What do you desire?"  Which led us to "Desiderata" which means 'Things to be Desired'.  The day that she introduced us to the poem, she asked each person in the classroom to pick a piece of the poem and interpret the meaning of it.  Each word has such truth.  

Often throughout my life, I have gone back to this poem for guidance.  I'd love to find it on a huge poster/canvas to hang in my house.  About a year ago, I talked about it in this post and how I used those words to get me through my selfish thinking.  Hopefully you might find some meaning and truth in these words that might help guide you through your life.   

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