Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.
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 the 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 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 with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
-Three years ago, when I was still in my previous work, my trainer used to send quotes to our company e-mail for daily dose of inspiration. A part of the prose Desiderata was sent on March 2012. When I read it, I was touched by its message. I know I should learn the message by heart, that’s why I wrote the lines in my journal.
Fast forward 2015, upon checking on my journal, I came across the lines of Desiderata. I searched it on the Internet and was able to read the whole poem. I could not help but be touched again by the profound message. I found out the meaning of the word Desiderata: which is desired things. Much like the title of this blog, “Heartfelt Desires”, maybe the reason why the poem didn’t leave my memory even years after. This poem was written on the ‘50s, but I realized that the things that haunt people at that time are still pretty much the same with the dilemmas of people 60 years after, right at the new millennium. Matters like relationship with people, God, striving for personal happiness, peace, calmness, silence and love, issues of the past and present are all the same. Max Ehrmann’s message in this poem will live for eternity, believing that with all the not-so-good things happening around, it is still a beautiful world.
Please send me your thoughts of the impact of this poem in your life too, when you read it.