Desiderata, meaning “things that are yearned for” by Max Ehrmann

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 to the dull and the ignorant for 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 perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to 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 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 in 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 1927

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5 thoughts on “Desiderata, meaning “things that are yearned for” by Max Ehrmann

  1. “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 in your soul.

    With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

    Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

    Beautiful.

    Everyday Life is Enlightenment, right? I work hard to be at peace with the universe since I can remember, and I got into a lot of trouble while trying to do just that.
    Maybe I should stop trying and just be……This is why Katageek makes a lot of sense to me when he says we are just meat: We, as conscious, self-aware, intelligent, educated, knowledgeable superior beings, tend to think a little bit too much and then get lost in our own superior considerations…..

    One consideration serves as a stepladder for the next, and suddenly we are floating between clouds, if we are lucky maybe feeling wonderful………..and then………..what???………….so far I´,ve found nothing beyond that.
    In scientific research you get a deeper understanding of the cosmos, in spiritual research somehow I think we have not found the correct direction or approach. The material things can be known, but the spiritual things ……….not so much.

    • I agree Rafael, This week I am visiting my oldest daughter in Houston and tonight she is giving birth to my second grandchild and first grandson. Except for my oldest son, everyone close is here. I spent this evening walking and talking with her and reminiscing about the evening she was born and the wonder of how she and her good husband will be bringing home another fractal bit of our family who will iterate (my words haha) and grow and bloom, gods, DNA and luck willing. It is peaceful now and I’m happy and content to wait and see what the good stork brings. Life is good. No anxiety. No pressure. Nothing that has to happen. It is good to think and to pray and to fast and it is also good to bask in the warm glow of new life and be ok with not understanding beyond that.

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