Dave the Web

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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 people.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to all even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive people,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself to others you will become vain and bitter;
there will always 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 not this blind you to the 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;
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 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 the 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 1927

Acknowledgements/History/Disclaimer: Although 1692 is often given as the date of this poem, this is incorrect. US Federal District Court Records (Bell v. Combined Registry Co., 397 F.Supp. 1241 (N.D. 111.1975))(with the court placing the poem in the public domain) reveal that Max Ehrmann (1872-1945), a lawyer from Terre Haute, Indiana, wrote this poem in 1927.
Thanks for posting this, Dave!
I've always been able to read this regularly, because my wife insists upon hanging it around the house.
I think it does contain sensible advice on day-to-day living in relationship with other human beings.
The first I came across the "Desiderata" was on a Leonard Nimoy Album. I honestly thought he'd written it at first. The following line just cracked me up:

and listen to all even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.

Once you've heard Mr Spock say that, it makes it a little harder to connect with the intended widom of the sentence.
I do not think I can imagine Mr Spock speaking the Desiderata without making the work seem a little parodied.
Thank you for posting this, and more importantly, giving proper credit to Mr. Ehrman. This work is one of the most plagarized.

I too, have a copy on my wall, that once belonged to my mother before she passed. It is dear to me on many levels. Thank you again, for the pleasant reminder.