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.
---Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.


At various points in my life Desiderata has given me great comfort. Loud and aggressive persons learned to be avoided.  I always managed to remain interested in my career, because I loved helping others.  Learned to be my self.  Now I am trying to take kindly the counsel of the years and be gentle with my self.  I do strive to be cheerful and happy and these words always bolster my spirits.


the cajun said...

I used to have a calligraphy artwork of this poem hanging in my apartment for many years but alas, it was lost to my previous life.

I have never seen the video and love it, so thanks for posting both.


David Oliver said...

I seem not to be getting updates on your blog so no idea how long this has been posted. Your post date says 7/05/2013. If I've traveled to the future, please let me know! :)

I had never read the poem and it is wonderful. The part about having a right to be here is particularly profound. Thanks for posting it.

David Jeffreys said...

David, Blogger can act strangely. Actually this is a 3 year old post, but the video became messed up. I fixed the video and SCHEDULED the post to be posted on July 5. I guess because it was an old already posted item, that I cannot reschedule it for the future, so it suddenly appears in the present.

I am glad you like Desiderata. It is my favorite poem.

David Jeffreys said...

I also have a calligraphy artwork of Desiderata that is framed and hanging in my bedroom. A long time ago (?1970s), this video was a popular song called "You are a child of the Universe" and that is when I was first exposed to it.

Ur-spo said...

we have a copy of this hanging in the guest room. I had forgotten about it!