Countless words have poured out of the fingertips of poets, but nothing quite compares to the intricate beauty of Desiderata, by Max Ehrmann.
When I was growing up, I had a fascination with literature- specifically poetry.
Poems Can Describe Something Inside Yourself You Didn’t Know Was There; They Can Transport You To A World You Believe Exists Though You Don’t Know Why; They Fill Your Soul With Exactly The One Thing It Was Missing.
A poem is much more than rhyme and meter, it is a powerful tool that can change your entire life. In fact, the poem Desiderata has done exactly that for many people since its creation in 1927.
Desiderata means “things that are desired,” and Ehrmann said he wrote it for himself, “because it counsels those virtues I felt most in need of.”
Though Desiderata was not considered a popular work during Ehrmann’s lifetime, it rose in popularity during the late ’60s and early ’70s. Today, it is making a strong comeback, as parents and grandparents are passing along this wisdom to their loved ones
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.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Please share this powerful piece of poetry with everyone you know.