Wednesday, August 5, 2009

D E S I D E R A T A ........words of life


-- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --
Not "Found in Old St. Paul's Church"! -- see below


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 story.
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.
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 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 in your soul.


With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

9 comments:

Rob said...

I wish all might read and take something from Ehrmann's wittings.

mq01 said...

amen. this is beautiful, powerful, meaningful, and timeless. thank you baron.

Thom said...

Thank you for sharing this my friend. Very deep and uplifting :) Aloha

The Peach Tart said...

I've printed it to relish again.

B.B. said...

Wow, this is one I'll have to read again and again! Thanks Baron!

Conchscooter said...

Perhaps they should hand out these old pearls of wisdom to the people loudly disrupting town hall meetings about health care reform?

ellievellie said...

Very inspirational. Guess the modern psychologies just put fancy terms on the place of this wise words and made a science out of it :) Common sense - we need more of it!

MedaM said...

This post is really beautiful. I enjoyed reading these inspiring lines full of truth and wisdom. We all should remember of them more often.

bikerted said...

One of our favourites Baron. It was also added to music in the early 1970's by Les Crane, a talk show host, and was a top ten hit over in the UK.