A little over a decade ago, a former College class mate and friend gave to me a gift that I now consider to be a priceless treasure and inspiration for a lifetime. It is one of those rare instances, that even though we both went our separate ways, and have since then lost connection with each other, the treasure and the memory lives on. The treasure I speak of was a copy of the “DESIDERATA” neatly framed. The many times that I have read it and allowed the words to soak into my spirit, is countless.
The words are powerful indeed, while at the same time calm and reassuring. Assuming you may have read it before, I am almost certain you will agree with me that the entire poem is motivating, and inspiring and, a few more adjectives that you may wish to add. The truth be told, for me this is a poem that I have turned to so many times to lift me up and revive my spirit when at times I just felt so cast aside and downtrodden.
Max Ehrmann’s inspirational poem – Desiderata
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 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.
Especially, do not feign affection
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as 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.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, 1927