Desiderata

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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 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 © 1952

Image: ‘Force of Nature’
~ by david redpath

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