Max Ehrmann – Desiderata – A Poem

This is a poem that a friend of mine shared with me.  It is a poem that speaks truth and offers us the wisdom we all seem to be yearning for.  We may have different theories and/or beliefs about the lives we live, but here, we can all come together and relate to one another through this beautiful poem.

Be kind, be gentle, and seek the goodness in everyone and everything.


Max Ehrmann


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.

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 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, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

One thought on “Max Ehrmann – Desiderata – A Poem

  1. This has given me lots to think about today. Especially the part about: No hangover, no wsating the day away but having too much fun the night before, but rather grabbing the day with a big handful of bliss. Calm, honest, healthy BLISS! My Saturday was a total waste, I went out with friends Friday and lay around on my couch the whole next day. It was so frustrating and I complained to my spouse that it honestly made me feel like such a jerk to have acted like that. The worst part is when you are a jerk to yourself. I was the only victim of my Friday shinanigans, I lost out on, what had the potential to be, an awesome Saturday.But enough belly aching your post was very motivational and especially awesome after the weekend I had. I am looking forward to paying a little more attention to me and really thinking about what will make me happy, healthy and full of bliss. Thanks!!!

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