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 others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their stories.

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 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.  If you enter a new relation in a spirit of trust, you make it easy for others to trust you.

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, but you need never surrender the playful abandon of your youth, nor close your mind to what is truly new.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But culture an expectation of warm connections and serendipitous good will. Remind yourself that most 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; surely you deserve sympathy and forgiveness as well as those you love best.

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 Her to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world, and you may laugh in good conscience.

— Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, edited JJM.

From waterfall {MID-219671}


In 1927 American writer Max Ehrmann (1872–1945) wrote the prose poem Desiderata, which was first published in The Poems of Max Ehrmann in 1948.  In 1956, the Reverend Frederick Kates, rector of Saint Paul’s Church in Baltimore, Maryland, included Desiderata in a compilation of devotional materials for his congregation. The compilation included the church’s foundation date: “Old Saint Paul’s Church, Baltimore AD 1692″. Consequently, the date of the text’s authorship was (and still is) widely mistaken as 1692, the year of the church’s foundation.


One thought on “Desiderata

  1. Thank you, Josh, for your contribution to my day!   Your posts are stimulating and inspiring.  Happy New Year to you.   Carolyn Moore

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