Saturday, October 08, 2005

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

(My mom had this framed and hanging in our house when I was growing up. It always helps me put things into perspective when I'm struggling, and it pretty much sums up my approach to life.)


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, Copyright 1952.

7 comments:

mr_g said...

That's way cool...um, is that proper literary commentary?

Rae Ann said...

mr g, what do you mean? I'm still confused about that other subject. lol

Rae Ann said...

Sorry, I'm really slow today. Yes! That's absolutely proper commentary here! LOL

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Your Mom was very wise, I know you miss her! Sending hugs your way!

mr_g said...

I guess I haven't seen any book critics use the phrase "way cool" to describe their latest read, so I thought I'd ask... ;)

Rae Ann said...

suzie, thanks! Yes, I miss her so much.

mr g, I think it would be an improvement in many book reviews if they did use 'way cool.' lol

Tayster said...

National Lampoon (with Christopher Guest) did this song under the name of "Deteriorata".

I will find it and send you an MP3 of it.

Very funny when you see them side by side.