DESIDERATA - Max Ehrmannn Poems

 
 

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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 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 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.

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